Bicycling/pedestrian (and other vulnerable users) enhanced safety bills

are now in the House and Senate for 2016.

 

The bills may be viewed by clicking on the following links: 

 

http://legislature.vermont.gov/bill/status/2016/H.231

 

http://legislature.vermont.gov/bill/status/2016/S.121

 

 

Many thanks to the 2 primary sponsors (and the 46 co-sponsors in the last biennium) for their support.

 

These bills are currently endorsed by the Green Mountain Bicycle Club (the largest and oldest bicycle club in Vermont), the Vermont Bicycle and Pedestrian Coalition, and The League of American Bicyclists, a national bicycling advocacy organization with offices in Washington, D.C. The LAB endorsement can be viewed by clicking on this link: LAB endorsement  The bill is also gaining strong support from bicycle clubs, bicycle shops, bicycle touring companies, individual bicyclists and runners, and cross country running and skiing (training on roller skis) coaches in high schools and colleges throughout Vermont.

There are now 24 states with similar laws. The New Hampshire law is the model for the minimum clearance provision in this proposal.

 

There are “companion bills” now in Vermont House and Senate transportation committees that will significantly improve the safety of vulnerable users on Vermont roads. The bills propose to copy the best 3-foot minimum clearance law (NH) for vehicles passing vulnerable users among the 22 states that have such laws to date. Our bill will also clearly define 15 cases of vulnerable user right-of-way in existing motor vehicle laws, such as the well-known “right hook” – all situations where it should have been added when the “vulnerable user” concept was introduced in the so-called “safe passing” bill several years ago.

 

This bill will prevent injuries and save lives, and also make it more likely that a citation will be issued when a vehicle actually hits a vulnerable user.

 

There are 42 sponsors in the House and 6 in the Senate. They all deserve special thanks and encouragement.

 

The yes/maybe/no assessment of the bills if they get to the floor intact is:

 

House random sample of yes/maybe/no opinions for 77 out of 150 members: 68/6/3 – that’s about 88% support if the committee reports it to the floor. Senate sample of 9 out of 30: 8/1/0 – about 89% support.

 

These bills will very likely pass if they can get through the committees. Time is now very short so we need to act today

 

If you don’t know who your legislators are, use this link to find out:

 http://legislature.vermont.gov

 

Call your own legislators and also call members of the transportation committees.

 

Listed below are members of the 2015-2016 transportation committees:

 

You may send e-mails to the individual committee members through the noted committee assistants. This is better than e-mails directly to the members. Phone calls to home numbers are much more effective than e-mails and they are expected and desired by those who have home numbers listed on the links above. Merely 4 phone calls from constituents feels approximately like a majority for most representatives and around 20 is about the same for most senators. Your phone call might change the outcome.

 

 HOUSE COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION (Room 43)

 

Members

 

·         Rep. Patrick Brennan, Chair

 

·         Rep. David Potter, Vice Chair

 

·         Rep. Timothy R. Corcoran II, Ranking Member

 

·         Rep. Clement Bissonnette

 

·         Rep. Mollie S. Burke

 

·         Rep. Mark Huntley, Clerk

 

·         Rep. Curt McCormack

 

·         Rep. Barbara Murphy

 

·         Rep. Constance Quimby

 

·         Rep. Herbert Russell

 

 

Committee Assistant: Francette Cerulli, fcerulli@leg.state.vt.us

 

 SENATE COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION (Room 3)

 

Senator Dick Mazza, Chair

 

Senator Richard Westman, Vice Chair

 

Senator Dustin Degree

 

Senator Peg Flory

 

Senator Jane Kitchel, Clerk

 

 

Committee Assistant: Kenneth Feld, kfeld@leg.state.vt.us