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YES on HB 117
NO on HB 171
HB 171 by Rep. Goldman will override all local mobile device ordinances and replace them with a new, weaker version. The sole purpose of this bill is to water down local decisions regarding mobile device use. Please vote NO on HB 171.
We urge you to contact your Texas Representative and tell them that you want to support HB 117 by Rep. Uresti instead. Please vote YES on 117.
HB 117 expands and strengthens our new statewide mobile device bill (HB 62). This bill is in danger of languishing in the House Transportation Committee and dying before the end of the Special Session.
Here's what you can do to support more stringent rules for cell phone use while driving:
We've found the following format to be useful when contacting elected officials:
Relevant facts related to this legislation include:
Thank you for speaking up for safe driving practices in Texas! One more way to help--please share this with any bike, pedestrian, or traffic safety groups you may be part of, plus all of your friends that want safer roads in our cities.
BikeTexas had several priority bills during the 85th Texas Legislature. The good news is that HB 62, No Texting While Driving, finally passed after many years of work and was signed into law by the governor. Under this law, drivers may not read, write, send texts, or communicate via other electronic messages while the vehicle is moving. Stricter ordinances at the local level are still law. The Special Legislative Session may pass a bill to void local hands-free ordinances.
Unfortunately, the Iris Stagner Safe Passing Act (HB 1236 by Rep. Mando Martinez/SB 1274 by Sen Jose Rodriguez), Vision Zero (HB 1677 by Rep. Celia Israel/SB 1245 by Sen. Jose Rodriguez), and Safe Neighborhood Streets (HB 1368 by Rep. Celia Israel/SB 1244 by Sen. Jose Rodriguez), did not fare well. We were given reasons that some very conservative legislators didn't like the bills because of "nanny state," "too many laws," or "should be a local ordinance only."
Generally these bills are unlikely to be won by compelling arguments that address the legislators' concerns. The bicycling movement will need to show a lot of "boots on the ground" in every legislative district that has a legislator whose votes we need (hint: all of them).
Many thanks to the over 80 folks who traveled to Austin for the Bike Lobby Day, Cyclists in Suits, on March 27. We visited every legislative office to let them know that people who ride bikes have high expectations of our legislators to hear our concerns and take those concerns seriously.
We're keeping an eye on bills that come up during the Special Session and fighting every day to make Texas a great place to walk and bike.
We want to extend our thanks to the more than 80 citizen advocates who signed up for Cyclists in Suits on March 27. BikeTexas members and friends from across the state visited every legislative office to advocate for safe bicycling and walking. Volunteers provided information about Vision Zero (House Bill 1677/Senate Bill 1245), the Iris Stagner Safe Passing Act (House Bill 1236/Senate Bill 1274), and the Safe Neighborhood Streets Bill (House Bill 1368/Senate Bill 1244) to every legislative office.
We also extend our thanks to Richardson Bike Mart and Bike DFW, YMCA, H-E-B, Bike Houston, Bike Austin, The Bonneville, and members and friends for their financial support of Cyclists in Suits.
Special thanks to YMCA staff members and Senator Jose Rodriguez, who provided information, encouragement and training for our volunteers.
Save State Parks Funding for Texas: Contact the TX Lege Now
Sunday, April 30 2017 18:03
Cyclists in Suits - Texas' Bike Lobby Day
Cyclists-in-Suits, , in Austin
We'll meet at the Capitol Auditorium (E1.004, which is across from the Capitol Grill at 9am sharp for a welcome and brief training session.check in at least 15 minutes prior. No food or drinks are allowed in the auditorium. The Capitol Grill near the auditorium has breakfast foods, and coffee at a very reasonable price. It is open early.)
After orientation, volunteers from across the state (including bus loads of individuals from bike groups in Houston, San Antonio, Dallas and Fort Worth) will visit legislative offices to show support for our bills.
At the end of the day, we’ll meet at The Bonneville Restaurant overlooking Lady Bird Lake for a social hour and refreshments.
Bus Trips to Cyclists in Suits:
From DFW (thanks to Richardson Bike Mart and BikeDFW) please click here.
Summary of bills BikeTexas is supporting this session: Please note, legislative sessions are fluid and bills can change at any time. Consult this bill tracker for up-to-the-minute information.
Iris Stagner Safe Passing Act for 2017-House Bill (HB) 1236
Named for a popular bicycle safety advocate and BikeTexas board member, who died on the road in 2012.This Safe Passing Bill will establish for unprotected road users a standard safe passing distance of 3 ft. (or 6 ft. for Commercial Vehicles) that only applies when road conditions allow. It also prohibits the “right hook” (turning dangerously in front of an unprotected road user) and failing to yield when making a left turn at an intersection. Comments: No fiscal note. Twenty-five Texas cities and twenty-five other states have enacted safe passing laws. Imposes penalties for violations under this bill.
Establishment of the Vision Zero Legislative Task Force by the Legislature - House Bill (HB) 1677
This legislation would direct TxDOT to establish The Task Force on Vision Zero: Achieving Zero Traffic Crashes, Injuries and Fatalities, to report findings to the 2019 legislature, based on the Task Force review of a) current state of roadway fatalities and serious injuries and b) identification of effective measures to reduce the number of roadway fatalities to zero by no later than 2050. Comments: no fiscal note. Vision Zero is a national and international effort to reduce fatalities to zero. BikeTexas is proud to be a member of a coalition of Texas-based health concerns
supporting this bill.
Lowering the Prima Facie Speed Limit in an Urban District – House Bill (HB) 1368
This legislation would amend the Transportation Code to change the lawful speed from 30 miles an hour to 25 miles an hour in an urban district on a street other than an alley unless a special
hazard exists. Comments: no fiscal note. Uses speed reduction as a tool for reduction of fatalities and serious injuries.
Alex Brown Memorial Act – Distracted Driver - House Bill (HB) 62
This legislation relates to the use of a wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle, creating a criminal offense and modifying existing criminal penalties.
Ride Like a Pirate
Avast! September 19 be Talk Like a Pirate Day, so haul yer best Pirate to yer ride and impress yer mates! (We be puttin' these here fer a laugh. We be not wantin' ye to do anythin' that might land ye in traction.) Don't be forgettin' yer eyepatch for yer post-ride grog, savvy? And nae stealin', either--that be the wrong spirit fer Talk Like a Pirate Day.
Before the ride -- "Arrrr, where be we goin'? Which one o' ye is the coxswain? Does every bilge rat have flat changin' tools?"
Car back -- "There be dragons."
Car up -- "Here be dragons."
Road hazard -- "Ahoy, mates! Watch yourselves o'er this ____."
Speeding up -- "Smartly, mates! This be not the time for slackin'!"
Stopping -- "Avast! There be a stop sign!"
And if someone ignores ride etiquette -- "Release the Kraken."
After the ride -- "Pass me the grog, mates, or be keelhauled."
Photo: Arrrr, bikes!
Learn and Roll: Back to School 2016
Teachers, students, and parents are already in the swing of a new school year. How's it going so far? Is your bicycle rolling with you to class?
Biking or walking to school gives your child (or you!) tremendous health and mental benefits. Childhood obesity is on the rise across the US, and regular physical activity can help protect your child: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend 60 minutes of physical activity every day for children and adolescents.
In addition to getting kids active, studies have shown a link between children being active on their way to school and their ability to concentrate once they arrive. Doss Elementary School in Austin has noticed this firsthand: after just a few months of the school's bike program, teacher Amanda Swann said, "children who walk/ride to school are much better prepared to sit and learn and have gotten those ‘wiggles’ out on that trip to school instead of during school."
So, time to get everybody ready to roll!
2. Make sure everyone in your family has a properly fitted helmet. (PDF download)
Want to plan a Bike/Walk to School Day for your school or community?
Biking/Walking not a feasible option for your family?
Never fear: You are not forgotten! StreetsBlog LA shared excellent advice from Jim Shanman, the executive director of Walk n Rollers: "Instead of driving all the way to school, try parking 5 blocks away and walking the rest. Spending an extra 10 minutes with your kids and avoiding the drop off crush is an excellent – and rewarding – way to start your day." Read more of Jim's suggestions here.
You might also consider joining-- or starting-- a walking school bus or a bike train in your neighborhood. Parents take turns being the leaders, reducing each person's overall time commitment-- a valuable commodity for busy parents. Learn more: info about walking school buses here and info about bike trains here.
Above all, have a great school year, and happy riding!
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