Support Grows for Georgia Bicycle Safety Bill
More than 1,000 bicyclists converged in Atlanta yesterday in a show of support for a pending piece of legislation that would create a safety zone around bicycles, preventing the risk of injuries and accidents.
The bill is similar to other legislation already in effect in 16 other states around the country. It has been widely supported by bicycle safety groups and Atlanta bicycle accident lawyers. The bill, HB988 will establish a 3-foot safety zone around a bicyclist. Motorists will be required to maintain the 3-foot zone while passing a bicyclist. This will greatly increase safety for these bikers, who often find themselves run off roads and frightened by honking cars that get too close to them.
The bill is currently in the House Rules Committee. It has to pass one more chamber of the Georgia legislature by Friday. If that fails, the bill is likely dead for the current session.
It’s very important that the bill is passed during his session, so Georgia can continue with efforts towards enhancing bike safety. Around the country, states are investing in bike safety to unclog congested streets, and keep pollution levels in check. In Atlanta, we have notoriously congested traffic, which makes our city one of the worst in the country to drive in. Encouraging bicyclists would tackle the problem of congestion and other related problems, like road rage and aggressive driving.
It’s however pointless to encourage biking if we don’t invest in a safer environment for bicyclists. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has already spoken of his commitment to encouraging pedestrian and bicycle traffic as part of his overall vision for transportation infrastructure in the United States. Georgia too needs to step up and encourage safe biking for all.