Two states were in the news lately for the wrong reasons: the first was Missouri, which apparently proposed a bill that bicycles operated in the state must fly a flag 15’ high.
The second was South Dakota, which just proposed a bill that bicyclists, when followed by a motor vehicle, must pull over and dismount to allow the motor vehicle to pass. Momentum Magazine did a great piece about this daft proposal. (They didn't say all cyclists must, after dismounting, get on his or her knees and bow to the motor vehicle as it passes like the Ewoks did when they first saw C-3PO, so I guess it could be worse).
As cyclists, we have to be vigilant to this kind of crazy. At the very least, people who propose these kinds of laws with a straight face shouldn’t be elected to public office again. Honestly, given how the 2016 presidential race has a lot of people redefining crazy, proposed rules like these may have a shot at passing.
So as long as we are taking about laws that are written with safety in mind, I’m putting forward some proposals that have a little more proportionality:
California - S.R. 2942: Beginning in 2018, All motor vehicles sold in the State of California must have gull-wing doors to prevent city cyclists from being injured by the opening door of a pre-2018 motor vehicle (also known as ‘doored’).
Rhode Island - H.R. 234: All motor vehicles driven in this state - with no exceptions - are required to have a florescent yellow hood and grille covering (known as a “bra”) to make the motor vehicle easier to see at night.
Mississippi - S.R. 128: As a new addition to the motor vehicle driving test, residents must be able to pronounce the names of all chemicals in motor vehicle exhaust and know their effects on personal health and climate change.
Florida - H.R. 5887: Motorists caught using a cellular phone or tablet while driving shall be fined not less than $2,000 and must donate the device in question to the nearest battered women’s shelter.
Connecticut - S.R. 1188: Motor vehicles that park in a designated bicycle lane are subject to seizure, the driver’s operator license confiscated, and the motorist shall undergo no less than 40 hours of sensitivity training to regain their license.
Oregon - H.R. 455: Car taxes are to be reduced 30% for households with one motor vehicle with two more more adults and raised 130% for households with a 1:1 motor vehicle/adult ratio.
Kansas - H.R. 456: A 10% tax on Toyota Prius’ sold in the state (Also known as “The Smugmobile Act of 2016”).
Alabama - S.R. 321: All drive through windows at fast food restaurants must display signs, printed in letters no less than four inches high and in full view of the drivers, that read: “Drive through windows are making you fat and polluting the environment” (Known as the “Arby’s Act”).
Michigan - S.R. 2534: By December 31, 2016, all motor vehicles in this state are to have an aftermarket speed governor installed by a trained professional so said motor vehicle, when driven within a fifteen-mile radius of an urban center, will be governed to a speed of no more than twenty-five miles per hour.
Texas - S.R. 832: Designating the High Occupancy Vehicle lane (known as “HOV Lane”) for vehicles with three or more people, with highway tolls reduced accordingly. Electric and hybrid vehicles with one occupant are banned from using the HOV lane.
California - H.R. 3566: Congestion pricing in urban areas are to take effect beginning July 1, 2016, with proceeds to fund light rail projects. Additionally, motorists caught racing up to a red traffic light are to be fined $800 per offense with proceeds benefiting Good Karma Bike’s Transitional Age Youth (T.A.Y.) program.
New York - H.R. 1673: Personal motor vehicles are banned permanently in New York City.
South Carolina - S.R. 1299: When selling a new or previously owned motor vehicle, the Seller must tell the Buyer that motor vehicle exhaust is murder and go over alternatives to buying a car, including bicycling, walking and public transit.
These probably have little to no chance of passing. Neither do the ones from Missouri and South Dakota. But let's be vigilant about proposed laws - and elect legislators that will write bills that make sense and help enable people to #choosethebike. Thanks for reading and thanks for riding.
P.S. - Good Karma Bikes' Park Tool School, which starts Feb. 9th, is still taking students. Visit Good Karma Bikes' Park Tool School page for details.