As a national organization, the League of American Bicyclists receives updates from advocates throughout the country. In the lead-up to our Bicycle Friendly State ranking release last week, I received a few updates on interesting advocacy campaigns that I wanted to share.
New York State makes push for 3-foot law through local actions
The New York Bicycle Coalition and its allies are working to pass a 3-foot passing bill in the state legislature. As part of this campaign they are working with towns, villages, and cities to adopt ordinances in support of a state 3 foot passing law.
New Paltz, NY, a village of 14,000 outside Poughkeepsie, was the first locality to pass an ordinance in support of the 3-foot passing law. The town’s ordinance can be found here. It expresses concern that “New York State consistently had the highest combined bicycle and pedestrian fatality rate (27%) in the nation through 2015” and urges the town’s state representatives to co-sponsor the 3-foot legislation because it “it will not only help promote safely shared roads, but will specifically foster bicyclists’ safety.”
Video evidence being used to prosecute assault cases in California
CyclistVideoEvidence.com is focused on reducing dangerous driver behavior through the use of citizen video evidence and incident reporting. In the past few years, they have worked with California law enforcement to cite drivers for egregious near miss passes, including several successful prosecutions and the development of warning letters based on video evidence. This week, their incident reporting system captured an assault of a bicyclist by thrown tennis balls on a 50 mph road.
If you ride with a video camera, as I do, CyclistVideoEvidence.com provides a valuable resource for how to use the video you collect for proactive engagement with law enforcement about any incidents that occur, regardless of whether you are injured.
Dutch Reach expands with new materials
Dutchreach.org has rolled out a variety of potential signs, stickers, and graphics illustrating how drivers can improve bicyclist safety by opening their car door with their far hand and looking behind them. You can find those signs, stickers, and graphics here.
41 states have a law that makes the driver responsible for ensuring the safety of bicyclists and other passing traffic when opening a car door. You can learn more about “dooring” laws at https://bikeleague.org/bike-law-university.