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Want Safer Roads? Attend Michigan Bicycle Advocacy Day

Mark your calendars and attend Michigan’s Bicycle Advocacy Day on May 24, 2017

2017 is the year Michigan may actually see laws that protect cyclists! Please do your part and plan on attending Bicycle Advocacy Day in Lansing.

For years, Michigan bicycle advocates have sought laws requiring motorists to pass bicycles at a safe distance and mandatory bicycle rights/laws segments as part of all drivers education classes. With the numerous tragedies on Michigan roadways in 2015 and 2016, it looked like cyclists may have finally got the attention of the Michigan Legislature, with a safe passing law and bicycle education bill being introduced in the Senate and House. At the end of 2016, the bills passed the Senate, but they never saw a vote in the House.

2017 Michigan Safe Passing Bills

Fortunately, the safe passing bills have both already been introduced again, in both the House and Senate. The House bill is HB 4185 and the Senate bill is SB 0123. Both bills appear identical and would amend MCL 257.636 (Overtaking and Passing of Vehicles Proceeding in the Same Direction), to include the following language:

(2) THE DRIVER OF A VEHICLE OVERTAKING A BICYCLE PROCEEDING IN THE SAME DIRECTION SHALL PASS AT A SAFE DISTANCE OF AT LEAST 5 FEET TO THE LEFT OF THAT BICYCLE, AND WHEN SAFELY CLEAR OF THE OVERTAKEN BICYCLE SHALL TAKE UP A POSITION AS NEAR THE RIGHT-HAND EDGE OF THE MAIN TRAVELED PORTION OF THE HIGHWAY AS IS PRACTICABLE.

(3) NOTWITHSTANDING SECTION 640, IF IT IS SAFE TO DO SO, THE DRIVER OF A VEHICLE OVERTAKING A BICYCLE PROCEEDING IN THE SAME DIRECTION MAY OVERTAKE AND PASS THE BICYCLE IN A NO-PASSING ZONE.

The bills will now be put before subcommittees and will hopefully receive a hearing and vote both in committee and before the full legislative bodies. It is important to keep in mind that the proposed legislation can be modified or amended during the legislative process.

Sign Up Today for Michigan Bicycle Advocacy Day

Regardless of what stage the legislation is at in May, there is no question that your participation in the process can make a difference. We need as many cyclists as possible to attend Michigan Bicycle Advocacy Day on May 24, 2017, and meet with their State Representative and Senator. Please, put the date on your calendar and sign up today at LMB – Advocacy Day. Together, we can make a difference!!

 

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