In Virginia, a motorist can be absolved of any responsibility for killing a cyclist by simply claiming, “I didn’t see them.”
As it stands now, any driver in Virginia can get away with killing a cyclist by simply claiming, “I didn’t see them.”
The awesome guys at the Virginia Bicycling Federation have been working on the state level to introduce legislation that would create safer roads for cyclists. Senate Bill 928 and HB1683, the “Three Foot Passing Law,” would increase the legally-required minimum passing distance from two to three feet. If enacted, the law would also require motor vehicle operators to maintain a safe, reasonable distance when following ANY vehicle on the road, be it a bicycle, a moped, an electric wheelchair or a scooter. The law doesn’t absolve cyclists from the responsibility to ride in a safe manner, and as close to the right side of the road as is practical, but it will afford us legal protection.
Senator Yvonne Miller of Norfolk and Delegate Jeion Ward of Hampton, are members of their respective Transportation Committees, which will shortly be considering Senate Bill 928 and House Bill 1683, the “Three Foot Passing Law.” If you live in Hampton or Norfolk, please contact them TODAY. Below is an email that I sent to Senator Miller:
Dear Senator Miller,
If you don’t know your the name of your delegate or senator, it’s just a few mouse clicks away: check out Who’s My Legislator?
If you want to learn more about “vulnerable road user laws,” check out the VBF blog, written by local cycling advocate Bruce Drees.