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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Point of Law: Do 'safe passing' regulations really make it safer for cyclists if they're not enforced? pghcitypaper.com

Pennsylvania law mandates that drivers give cyclists a 4-foot buffer when passing
  • Photo by Heather Mull
  • Safe passage: Pennsylvania law mandates that drivers give cyclists a 4-foot buffer when passing.
It isn't often that lawmakers spend years shepherding legislation they know will likely not be enforced.
Yet when it came to state Rep. Ron Miller's "Safe Passing" bicycle bill — a law designed to give cyclists a buffer from drivers — that's exactly what he foresaw.
"From day one, we suspected it would be very hard to write citations, because it's a judgment call" for law enforcement, says Miller, a York Republican.
Overwhelmingly passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. Tom Corbett in February 2012, the law was celebrated as a win by many bike advocates, who have successfully lobbied 25 state governments nationwide to pass similar measures.

"The state of Pennsylvania took a huge stride toward improving our Bike Friendly State standing," declared local advocacy group Bike Pittsburgh the day after Corbett signed the legislation.

It isn't often that lawmakers spend years shepherding legislation they know will likely not be enforced.
Yet when it came to state Rep. Ron Miller's "Safe Passing" bicycle bill — a law designed to give cyclists a buffer from drivers — that's exactly what he foresaw.
"From day one, we suspected it would be very hard to write citations, because it's a judgment call" for law enforcement, says Miller, a York Republican.
Overwhelmingly passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. Tom Corbett in February 2012, the law was celebrated as a win by many bike advocates, who have successfully lobbied 25 state governments nationwide to pass similar measures.
"The state of Pennsylvania took a huge stride toward improving our Bike Friendly State standing," declared local advocacy group Bike Pittsburgh the day after Corbett signed the legislation.

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