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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bicycle Safety Enhancement Act of 2008

In October, Councilmember Jim Graham, chair of the DC Council's Public Works and Environment Committee, introduced Bill 17-981, the Bicycle Safety Enhancement Act of 2008. The recommendations contained in the bill are the result of discussions that followed a crash that casused the death of a bicyclist in DC earlier this year. After the tragedy, WABA developed a list of recommendations to help better protect cyclists from heavy vehicles. Many of WABA's recommendations are contained in the bill.

The Bicycle Safety Enhancement Act includes the following:

  1. A requirement that blind spot mirrors be installed on all DC owned heavy duty vehicles
  2. New bicyclist and pedestrian awareness training for DC heavy vehicle operators
  3. A new law requiring that motorists give three feet of space when passing cyclists
  4. A fine for the use of restricted lanes (bus/bike lanes and bike lanes) by unauthorized vehicles

What You Can Do to Help:

  • WABA urges you to contact the DC Council to express your support for the Bicycle Safety Enhancement Act. We have provided a sample letter for you to send to the Council, but please remember that personal messages are much more effective.
  • A hearing on the legislation has been scheduled for Friday, November 14th at 2pm. If you'd like to testify in person at the Council hearing, please contact Maria Angelica Puig-Monsen at 202-724-8195 or mpuigmonsen@dccouncil.us TODAY.
  • Written statements of support for the bill can also be sent to Ms. Puig-Monsen via email.
  • Say thank you and congratulations to the WABA folks for all their hard work.

Thank you, and congratulations, WABA folks. --d

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