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:
- A requirement that blind spot mirrors be installed on all DC owned heavy duty vehicles
- New bicyclist and pedestrian awareness training for DC heavy vehicle operators
- A new law requiring that motorists give three feet of space when passing cyclists
- 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 email@example.com 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