Update 1 PM, April 13:
Thank you! Thanks to your calls and emails, Rep. McClendon has removed the mirror provision from HB 383. Great work!
We expect some of the bills that matter to people who ride bikes in Texas to come before the House Transportation Committee later this week. Is your representative on the transportation committee? (Find out who your representative is here.) If so, keep an eye on your inbox and the BikeTexas pages for a call to reach out to your rep and ask for his or her vote.
Thanks again, Texas! Because of you, our legislators know that people who ride bikes have a strong voice in our state!
House Transportation Committee:
Rep. Joseph Pickett (Chair)
Rep. Armando Martinez (Vice Chair)
Rep. Cindy Burkett
Rep. Yvonne Davis
Rep. Allen Fletcher
Rep. Patricia Harless
Rep. Celia Israel
Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon
Rep. Andrew S. Murr
Rep. Chris Paddie
Rep. Larry Phillips
Rep. Ron Simmons
Contact Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon today!
In her many years on the House Transportation Committee, Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon has been a strong supporter of better bicycling. However, HB 383 is a mistake, and her office needs to hear from you right now.
HB 383 will require almost all bicycles and electric mobility-assist scooters in Texas to have an attached mirror.
This is an onerous requirement. Not all bicycles and scooters are designed to accept a mirror. Mirrors add expense and are difficult to maintain because they break frequently. Such a law has the potential to be unequally enforced. This requirement could cause some to give up on bicycling all together.
Please email Rep. McClendon’s office right now using this form on her district website and say, “Please pull HB 383 from the committee hearing on April 17, because it is bad for people who ride bikes and people with mobility impairment.” (These tips for contacting elected officials can help you effectively frame your email.) Drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org letting us know how it went.
As an alternative, ask that Rep. McClendon join the bipartisan HB 2459 as a co-author. HB 2459, the Iris Stagner Safe Passing Bill, includes the safe passing language included in HB 383 but without the mirror requirement. HB 2459, led by Rep. Mando Martinez, has bipartisan support from Republicans and Democrats and has a much better chance of becoming state law.
There are many reasons to oppose HB 383. We have listed a few below, and if any of them ring true for you, please do include them in your correspondence. HB 383 requires mirrors on the bicycle itself, and applies to bicycles on roads where the speed limit is greater than 15mph.
- There is no city or state in the country that requires mirrors on bicycles.
- It is the obligation of a motor vehicle driver to not run over people on bikes. This legislation seems to be blaming the victim for bicyclist deaths.
- Mirror laws are likely to be unevenly enforced, and can easily become a social justice issue when certain demographics are targeted more than others.
- This law would make it harder and more expensive for families to get regular physical activity.
- There is no age limit with this law, and it may be unsafe, expensive, or very difficult to attach a mirror to my child’s bicycle.
- I prefer to ride on trails, but sometimes I am forced to ride on the street for part of my ride. Am I going to get a ticket riding to my favorite trail?
- Mirrors are fragile and mine break easily. Am I going to get a ticket every time my mirror is broken?
- I have tried mirrors on my electric scooter and found it was difficult to maneuver through 32-inch doors without breaking the mirror.
- I personally like mirrors, but I have a mirror on my helmet or glasses rather than on my bicycle. Why should I get a ticket for having a mirror that isn’t on my bicycle?
If you have other reasons to not support this bill you’d like to share, please let us know.
Rep. McClendon has supported bicycling in the past, and we are very disappointed and puzzled that she would work on something that is anti-bicycling. She needs to hear from you right now.
Thank you for your support.