Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Important Bike Advocacy news from the Midwest

A couple interesting bits of bicycle advocacy news came out of two Midwestern States this week.

First in Kansas, their governor just signed into law and three-foot passing law that ALSO clarifies the legality of passing a bicyclist in marked no-passing zones.  Along with this, a different part of this new legislation now allows both bicyclist and motorcyclists to go through a "Dead Red" traffic signal when it is safe to do so.  Dead Reds are signals that do not change green because the sensors used to detect traffic are not calibrated properly to detect anything smaller than a car.  For comparison, New Jersey Title 39 DOES NOT address any of these three issues, leaving best on-road practices ambiguous at best and deadly at worst!  See the details of Kansas' new law from the Kansas Cyclists blog here.

In Illinois, Governor Pat Quinn ordered that the vehicle "crash" report form be modified to include a method of reporting "dooring" as a cause of a crash.  More details can be found in this Chicago Tribune article and even more in this article from WBEX 91.5 - Chicago Public Media.  It is unknown if the New Jersey vehicle crash report form (probably officially called a "motor vehicle accident form" here) has any standardized way to record this type of crash causation.

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