Bikes In The House

Double good news today:

The House voted 87-1 for legislation that would among other things require driver’s education course to include information about sharing the road with bicyclists and encourage development of bicycle lanes when roads are widened.

House Bill 1137 sponsored by state Rep. Patrick Williams, D-Shreveport, now heads to the Senate for debate.

Earlier, the House killed legislation that would have required red lights on the rear of bicycles traveling on state and parish roads and city streets at nights.

State Rep. Wayne Waddell, R-Shreveport, said the legislation, House Bill 1121 is aimed at saving the lives of bicyclists. “They are difficult for motorists to see. This will alert that there is a cyclist up ahead,” said Waddell.

But state Rep. Gary Smith, D-Norco, said he is concerned about the penalty to which bicyclists would be subject for non-compliance. And he asked how night-time is defined.

I couldn’t care less about the bike lanes. Even if any are built, they’ll be built poorly; i.e., as nothing more than shoulders which get filled with road trash and parallel parked cars. They also have the unintended consequence of causing drivers to think bikes should ONLY be in the bike lane, which, due to the poor construction, are often dangerous places to ride.

The education requirement, though, is a good thing. At least people will know we have the same right to the road as they do. Whether they act on it is another issue, but at least they won’t be ignorant.

As for Waddell’s bill, I’ve already expressed my doubts about the sincerity of his motives. Regardless, the law has no business protecting cyclists (or anyone else) from themselves. Good riddance to his bill.

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