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Though the Safe Passing bill is at the top of our agenda, it’s not the only bill affecting bikes this session. Some others BikeTexas has testified on:
“Bikes on Driver’s Test” Bill, SB 2041 (Ellis, Carona)
This would require an applicant for a driver’s license to demonstrate knowledge of motorists’ rights and responsibilities in relation to bicyclists. Authors are Senators Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) and John Carona (R-Dallas). Florence Shapiro (R-Plano) is a coauthor. It has been passed out of the Senate Transportation and Homeland Security Committee to go onto the Senate local calendar. The next step for this bill will be to travel to the House Transportation Committee.
Electric Bike Bill: HB 964 (Cohen)
This bill relates to the definition of electric bicycle for purposes of regulating the use, registration, and licensing of electric bicycles, and is authored by Representative Ellen Cohen (D-Houston). It would allow electric bikes with larger motors to be operated without a title or driver’s license. BikeTexas staff recommended significant changes to Rep. Cohen regarding an amendment to expand capacity for electric bikes, and testified for the bill. The bill is still pending in committee.
County Nuisance Bill including Bicycles: HB 736 (Quintanilla, Marquez)
This bill relates to authorizing county regulation of nuisances and disorderly conduct, originally including authority to ban bicycles in addition to fireworks and firearms. After working with BikeTexas, Representative Chente Quintanilla’s (D-Tornillo) office agreed to remove the bicycle reference in HB 736. Reported favorably on April 15, 2009 as substituted by County Affairs Committee. Substitute version not yet posted on Texas Legislature website.
Complete Streets: HB2883 (Martinez)
Relating to the accommodation of bicycles, pedestrians, and mass transit riders on streets and highways. It was authored by Representative Armando Martinez (D-Weslaco), and BikeTexas provided language for proposed committee substitute. The bill is currently assigned to the House Transportation Committee.