Gov. Ritter to sign cyclists’ bill today in Springs

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Gov. Bill Ritter will sign a cyclist protection bill, Senate Bill 148, this evening at the Penrose Library in downtown Colorado Springs.

The signing event is scheduled from 5:30 to 9 p.m.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Mike Merrifield and Sen. Greg Brophy, will require motorists to give cyclists at least three feet of space when passing. The bill will take effect Aug. 5.

The fine for crowding a cyclist is $110, and throwing objects at cyclists can result in a Class 2 misdemeanor charge, with a fine of $250 to $1,000 and possible jail time.

The governor will also sign six other bills:

SB 110 (Morse/Levy), Civil Rights Commission
HB 1058 (Morse/Marostica), Abandoned Military Remains
HB 1250 (Merrifield/Penry), Federal Money to Counties for School Districts
HB 1290 (Nikkel & Apuan/Harvey), Student Financial Aid National Guard
HB 1313 (Merrifield/Bacon), Expand Higher Ed Civic Engagement
HB 1334 (McCann & Apuan/Newell), Aggregate Two Theft Offenses

10 Responses to Gov. Ritter to sign cyclists’ bill today in Springs

  1. This is really nice to hear after the terrible story/editorial that the CSBJ did about a year ago that encouraged bad behavior towards cyclists. That was very upsetting.

    Denise Schall
    May 11, 2009 at 12:59 pm

  2. Throwing objects at cyclists is completely unacceptable. That said, when will there be legislation or enforcement to address the other half of the problem? Cyclists on busy roads that are not wide enough to accomodate this requirement will create delays or the need to enter neighboring lanes, including oncoming traffic. Many cyclists ride uphill at slow rates of speed on these narrow roads endangering themselves and others. Others do not follow the rules of the road and seem oblivious to the fact that they are subject to traffic laws. Lastly, I hope all cyclist will use thier common sense and choose roads that safely accomodate bicycle traffic.

    May 11, 2009 at 1:10 pm

  3. Question on the cycling bill – will I have to drive into oncoming traffic to ensure 3′ feet of space is giving to the bicyclist idiots who ride in the middle of the right lane? Does the legislative geniuses provide motorist rights when these cyclists run stop signs and are hit or does the bill provide fines to the riders who take an entire right lane for their posse’, thus impeding traffic? How about fines for the riders who through stuff a motorists attempting to give them space, but then the rider swings out in front of the car?

    Not that I would know….but see these events occur nearly every warm and spring day in and around our mountain communities….

    Ken G.
    May 11, 2009 at 1:35 pm

  4. My question is how exactly do you fill 3 1/2 hours at a “signing event”? Regardless what you think of this legislation, it’s not exactly earth-shattering.

    May 11, 2009 at 1:48 pm

  5. I “second” that concern. I’m amazed at the level of legislation needed to ensure that bad things never happen again…..can you seriously legislate common sense???

    I know several responsible cyclists but I have seen the scenerio that Ken mentioned above (takes entire lane, runs through stop signs, weaves in and out of stopped traffic) all too often.

    A M
    May 11, 2009 at 1:55 pm

  6. As I understand it, a bike has all the rights of a car on most of our roads. As long as that is true, and given the lack of protection around a bike, the clearance should be 5′, and the fine $500. As far as throwing things at a bike rider from a passing car (or throwing things at anybody from a passing car) that fine range should start at $2,500. $250 is a joke!

    Jon H.
    May 11, 2009 at 1:59 pm

  7. I am an avid cyclist and being an avid cyclist, I am all in favor of protecting cyclists from inconsiderate and dangerous drivers, and this bill seems to help. However, what about legislation prohibiting cyclists from creating dangerous situations themselves? I’ve witnessed countless situations where cyclists just simply ignore rules of the road and act as if they are empowered to do as they please because they are on a bike. I’m not saying all cyclists are this way, but the small percentage of inconsiderate and dangerous cyclists is what gives all cyclists a bad reputation.
    Also, if cyclists have equal rights to roadways, why aren’t cyclists paying their fair share? We have plenty of taxes this day and age, and I’m not advocating any new taxes, but cyclists should be required to register their bicycles and pay up…fair is fair; even if it were as nominal as $20 per bicycle. $20 per bicycle would certainly provide a substantial amount of money for improved and additional trails throughout our community.

    Wade H
    May 11, 2009 at 3:01 pm

  8. Do cyclists have to give cars 3 feet too? And will cyclists be required to insure the vehicles they are using on the roads and pay registration fees as well? Will cyclists be required to maintain the posted speed limits like automobiles have to to ensure public safety?
    I wish they’d all move to Amish country to ride their bikes.

    May 11, 2009 at 5:11 pm

  9. I agree with several positions here….

    I’d support (and pay) a bike registration fee. The fee would also provide a mandatory registration ID number visible to others on the road. This way, the resolution to this issue reciprocal – cars cause dangerous situations – cyclist call the cops and give them the license plate….cyclist causes a dangerous situation, get the ID number off the bike – call the cops.

    Ken G.
    May 11, 2009 at 6:26 pm

  10. Reply @ Terry:

    Or maybe more people should get a bike and get some exercise unlike you. Have fun with that ;)

    Ishhod Collins
    May 12, 2009 at 10:23 am