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Safe Passing Act moving forward

The Chron has an overview of the Safe Passing Act.

Cyclists always worry about close calls with motorists. That’s why many are paying attention to legislation making headway with Texas lawmakers this spring aiming to make drivers more responsible for their vehicles.

Motorists could be charged with a misdemeanor offense if they don’t give cyclists at least three feet passing clearance in most circumstances.

“It’s important for motorists to understand that close counts — just like in horseshoes,” said Robin Stallings, executive director of BikeTexas. “This bill has the potential to educate motorists that getting close is far more dangerous than they expected.”

The Safe Passing Bill (SB 488) also would ban the “right hook,” a dangerous turn made in front of a vulnerable road user — including cyclists, pedestrians, runners, motorcyclists and construction workers. Violations could result in a $500 fine.

Accidents resulting in injury could subject motorists to a Class B misdemeanor, with a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.

SB488 passed out of the House Transportation Committee last week. I don’t see it on the House calendar yet, but given that it’s come this far and doesn’t seem to be particularly controversial, I feel pretty confident that it won’t be a calendars casualty. The fact that it has till May 26 to be passed in the House doesn’t hurt, either.

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One Comment

  1. YoungHouston says:

    neoHOUSTON has an article on car-free communities, I commented with a link back to this article.

    http://www.neohouston.com/2009/05/vauban-the-car-free-suburb-in-germany/#comment-536