Cyclists who oppose rights bill are endangering us all

Some Iowa cyclists are opposing the bike safety bill that the Iowa Bicycle Coalition and others have worked hard to promote.

Forgive me, but that is just plain stupid.

Several have said we don’t need another law, that the solution is to enforce existing laws. They say that motorists are angry about the new legislation, as if that were a reason to let it die. Then they say that if it is defeated, motorists will be left thinking we don’t have a right to be on the road. And they jump from there to say the legislation should be defeated.

Yes, we already have a right to be on the road.

Yes, if the legislation is defeated, motorists will misunderstand and think we’ve somehow been banned from the roads. Some aggressive, criminal drivers will pass closer than ever because of this, and cyclists might be hit. There will be more verbal abuse.

So, rather than lobbying for defeat of the bicyclists’ bill of rights, Iowa cyclists should be vigorously asserting their rights and supporting the law and encouraging enforcement and helping educate motorists and cyclists alike.

Yes, there are legitimate reasons for wanting the new law to be stronger or different in some ways.

A defeat will make the roads more dangerous.

Iowa cyclists should get behind this bill and push for its passage.

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3 Responses to “Cyclists who oppose rights bill are endangering us all”


  1. 1 bikinginla March 5, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    Couldn’t agree with you more. Here in California, we’re just beginning to coalesce into a political movement; our first victory was passage of the Cyclists’ Bill of Rights by the L.A. city council (http://www.ibikeu.com/wiki/index.php/The_Cyclists%27_Bill_of_Rights), but nothing has been done yet on the state level.

    One advantage we have, which appears to be contained in the Iowa bill, is defining a bicycle as a vehicle under state law. Not only does that provide a greater level of protection under the law, but it means that anyone with car insurance is also covered when they ride a bike, since California law specifies that insurance covers the driver, rather than the vehicle — regardless of what type of vehicle they operate.

    Good luck with the bill — and keep up the good fight.

  2. 2 iowacyclist April 17, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    I agree totally. Verbal abuse has always been common on rides. Oddly enough I recieve most abuse from larger men driving pick-up trucks. If anyone else has noticed this phenomena comment on my blog.


  1. 1 See you at the Bike Summit « BikingInLA Trackback on March 6, 2009 at 11:03 am
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