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Louisiana VRU Law Defeated Today

The notorious Rep. Kenny Havard killed the bill. He legislates in favor of thin, young strippers, and against bikes.

*** 2d UPDATE, June 5, 2016, noon ***

A cyclist emailed Havard to ask him to change his anti-bike position; Havard responded.  His parents not only taught Havard “not to play in the road,” they apparently taught him when you are in a hole, keep on diggin’!

We invite you to let him know how you feel.  His email is [email protected]

IMG_2631

*** UPDATE, June 3, 2016, 8 am ***

Representative Havard explains his anti-bike grandstanding by ranting on Facebook; he singles Charlie out as “one ambulance chasing attorney in NOLA.”  Don’t want to get hit by a car, he fumes, then “don’t play in the street.”

Havard


Here’s our original story from June 2nd:

Breaking news from the Louisiana House of Representatives: It is with great disappointment that we announce the defeat of SB 171, Louisiana’s Vulnerable Road User law. Although this bill successfully passed the Senate committee, the full Senate, and the House committee, the full House voted 51-46 against the bill late on June 2, 2016. Please read below as to why this bill, which would have provided additional protections for people on bikes, failed.

Nearly half of the Louisiana legislature was in favor of the law. The opposition was led by Rep. Kenny Havard.

Headlines recently swirled around this legislator for embarrassing Louisiana on a national scale when he suggested, on the floor of the state House, that strippers should be in their 20s and no more than 160 pounds. Rep. Havard appears to have disregarded compassion and justice in leading the charge against safer roads for all users.

Primarily, on the House floor, Rep. Havard criticized people on bikes riding on Louisiana’s roadways. Specifically, he disagreed with well-established Louisiana law and opined that bicyclists should only ride in bike lanes.

Rep. Havard represents District 62, which covers the parishes of East Feliciana, West Feliciana, and East Baton Rouge. Many Louisiana bicycle events, such as Rouge Roubaix, the Feliciana Road Race, and numerous century rides, occur in Rep. Havard’s district. In fact, the town of St. Francisville and parish of West Feliciana hold themselves out as being attractive hosts to people on bikes. It’s additionally important to note that in Rep. Havard’s district last June, LSU Professor Elisabeth Oliver was killed in a bicycle crash by an inattentive driver. Of course, SB 171 was intended to impose consequences for drivers who carelessly cause serious bodily injury or death to roadway users not protected by the steel cage of a motor vehicle.

Fortunately, I’ve encountered nothing but considerate drivers while riding and racing my bicycle in this area of Louisiana for the last twenty years. Nevertheless, I dread the day that Rep. Havard drives behind me and must make the decision of whether or not to leave three feet of safe passage. I am, after all, offensive solely because I’m riding a bike. Today, Rep. Havard voted to kill this law based on his personal bias rather than the best interest of his constituents or the people of Louisiana. As a call to action, please contact Rep. Havard and provide input directly on his position ([email protected]).

Otherwise, rest assured that support for his best-situated future challenger begins today.

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