Extra Legal Protection For Cyclists

Missed this Monday:

Jindal also signed House Bill 725 by Rep. Michael Jackson, I-Baton Rouge, creating the “Colin Goodier Protection Act,” a law named after a New Orleans native and Baton Rouge physician who was killed while riding his bicycle on River Road in Iberville Parish.

Jackson’s bill requires a driver to leave “a safe distance … of not less than 3 feet” while passing a bicyclist, a distance that must be maintained until the vehicle is safely past the bike.

Violations can be punished by a maximum $250 fine. Jackson’s bill, which also becomes effective Aug. 15, makes it a violation for anyone in a vehicle to “harass, taunt or maliciously throw objects at or in the direction of any person riding on a bicycle.” Violators could be sent to jail for up to 30 days or fined a minimum of $200.

Like I said when this was in the legislature, I do not like the idea of penalizing people for simply “taunting” cyclists. I also don’t think any cop will ever enforce this law. A more realistic hope was for education. On that count, the law has this to say:

Jackson’s bill requires the Office of Motor Vehicles to place a summary of the new law in driving manuals, directs the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission to launch a public awareness campaign of the new law, and directs the Department of Transportation and Development to place signs in areas frequented by cyclists to make drivers aware “of the need to share the road” with bicycles.

Those are all great ideas. Some people intentionally bother cyclists. Not many, though. Most problems with cars result from inattention or ignorance among drivers. A lot of folks honestly believe we ought to ride on the sidewalk, which is illegal and also more dangerous than riding in the street. Maybe this can eliminate some of the ignorance.

Or not. I just read some of the seventy plus comments to that story. This state is full of assholes.

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One Comment on “Extra Legal Protection For Cyclists”

  1. draftsonyou Says:

    Ever since we took this land from the natives, we have accepted the obligation to culturally assimilate the uneducated heathen. But somewhere along the way, we got lazy. We decided that it was politically incorrect to change someone’s lifestyle in order to give them a better life (or take their land). Why do we continue to refuse to fight the battles for health and education? Unfortunately, there are concentrations of ignorance in this country that refuse to be diluted. The solution that I propose is the same solution which we successfully implemented against the natives; we will take your property and relocate you to a reservation…a “reservation of ignorance”, so to speak. It could be somewhere out in Utah. Although it would probably take a lot less work to have it in ArkLaMiss, these states are much too rich in natural resources.


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