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BikeTexas staff seeks to build strong relationships of trust and dialogue with Texas Legislators in order to promote cyclist- and pedestrian-friendly legislation. This effort does not stop with the end of the session. BikeTexas staff has been working constantly since the end of the 2011 Texas Legislative Session to establish and further expand these critical relationships through activities ranging from discussion of issues of great concern for cyclists and pedestrians to short, easy-paced social rides with decision-makers using the BikeTexas fleet of hybrid bikes for our guests.
The BikeTexas board and staff have developed this legislative agenda in communication with BikeTexas members and other cyclists and pedestrians across the state in the past two years, sometimes in happy circumstances, sometimes in the face of tragedy. With the session starting Tuesday, January 8, here is a brief overview of the BikeTexas 2013 Legislative agenda.
Complete Streets legislation ensures that construction and reconstruction projects using federal or state funding will result in roadways that safely accommodate all users and are comfortable for walking, bicycling, and transit use. Read more here.
Safe Passing laws require at least three feet passing distance (six feet by commercial vehicle) when a motorist passes a vulnerable road user. It also addresses the “right hook” (turning dangerously in front of a vulnerable road user) and failing to yield when making a left turn at an intersection. A violation of this law would be punishable as a misdemeanor. Read more here.
This bill requires that cyclists use a red rear lamp after dark (the current law allows for a light or a reflector), in addition to the white front light currently required by law. Read more here.
Motorists who text while driving pose a high risk to bicyclists, pedestrians, and all other road users in addition to themselves. Read more here.
Other Legislative Initiatives
Other initiatives favorable to biking and walking may be introduced in the legislature and come to the attention of BikeTexas staff. Past examples are measures enabling use of power line easements in Harris County for hike and bike connector trails and defining electric bicycles in a manner to avoid licensing requirements.
Want to get involved? Go here to find out what you can do to make cycling and walking a priority for Texas in the 2013 Legislative Session.