I've blogged before about SB488, the "Safe Passing Bill". Via email from Jon Boyd of the CTC, I'm told that the bill will be heard by the Senate Committee on Transportation & Homeland Security this week. Bike Texas has the details.
What's happening now.
The 2009 Safe Passing Act, Senate Bill SB 488 will be heard by the Texas State Senate Committee on Transportation & Homeland Security on Wednesday morning, March 11, 2009 in Hearing Room E1.016 in the Capitol Extension.
The bill includes the "3-feet clearance" provision for cars passing cyclists. It has also been expanded to address right and left hooks and harassment for a range of "vulnerable road users" including pedestrians, persons in wheelchairs, utility workers, motorcyclists and others on the road or roadside not in a protective steel vehicle shell.
What you can do to help.
Below are the Senators on the Transportation Committee, with their party affiliation and general district areas.
Supporting SB 488
John Carona, (chair and bill co-author) R-Dallas, Dist. 16
Kirk Watson, (vice-chair) D-Austin, Dist. 14
Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, Dist. 10
Rodney Ellis, (bill co-author) D-Houston, Dist. 13
Eliot Shapleigh, D-El Paso, Dist. 29
Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, Dist. 25
Uncertain on Support for SB 488
Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, Dist. 3
Joan Huffman, R-Houston, Dist. 17
Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, Dist. 8
Click here to identify the Texas State Senator who represents you.
* If you are represented by a State Senator who serves on the Transportation Committee, please call or email your Senator by Tuesday to ask for their "Yes" vote. If they already support SB 488, thank them. If they are uncertain on SB 488, urge them to vote "Yes". Communication should be direct and frank but should always be respectful. If you are not a constituent of any of these Senators, please do not contact their offices because it creates additional unnecessary staff work. They naturally place much higher value on contact from constituents.
* If you live in the Austin area or can easily travel to Austin, come to the hearing at 8:00 a.m. (More details are below.) Please wear business attire including coat and tie for men. Even if you do not have a Senator on the committee who represents you, your presence is very important.