From the Office of the Governor website
Gov. Perry Vetoes SB 488
June 19, 2009
TO ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS SHALL COME:
Pursuant to Article IV, Section 14 of the Texas Constitution, I, Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, do hereby disapprove of and veto Senate Bill No. 488 of the 81st Texas Legislature, Regular Session, due to the following objections:
Senate Bill No. 488 would create a new class of users of roadways, called “vulnerable road users,” which would require specific actions by operators of motor vehicles. These vulnerable road users would include pedestrians; highway construction and maintenance workers; tow truck operators; stranded motorists or passengers; people on horseback; bicyclists; motorcyclists; moped riders; and other similar road users.
Many road users placed into the category of vulnerable road users already have operation regulations and restrictions in statute. For example, a person operating a vehicle being drawn by an animal is subject to the same duties as a motor vehicle, and a pedestrian is required to yield the right of way to a motor vehicle, unless he or she is at an intersection or crosswalk.
While I am in favor of measures that make our roads safer for everyone, this bill contradicts much of the current statute and places the liability and responsibility on the operator of a motor vehicle when encountering one of these vulnerable road users. In addition, an operator of a motor vehicle is already subject to penalties when he or she is at fault for causing a collision or operating recklessly, whether it is against a “vulnerable user” or not.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have signed my name officially and caused the Seal of the State to be affixed hereto at Austin, this the 19th day of June, 2009.
Governor of Texas
COBY SHORTER, III
Deputy Secretary of State
For a detailed view of this bill, visit http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=81R&Bill=SB488.
It would be nice to think "cycling advocates" would drop the hysteria (including the lies), take a step back, and look at the foolishness of this attempt (much less the near disastrous outcome of the anti-cycling amendments the House attempted to pass) in the cold light of day, and begin laying the groundwork for some real, constructive legislative changes to enhance cycling and cycling safety (i.e., the removal of the "far right" language that results in the dangerous practice of gutter-riding, and the hidden requirement for mandatory bike lane usage, that are in the Texas Vehicle Code), but based on the misrepresentations the "advocates" have put out, I'd be surprised if they changed their stripes.
But I've been surprised before. For one, I never expected Hell to freeze over (especially not during a Texas summer), and yet that is apparently what has happened, because I actually approve of something Governor Rick Perry has done.
On behalf of all bicyclists who support, understand and believe Section 551-101 of the Texas Transportation Code ("Every person riding a bicycle shall be granted all rights and be subject to all duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle."), I thank you, Governor Perry.
For cyclists concerned about our rights as operators of vehicles (and true safety), I'd suggest you contact the various bicycle advocacy groups telling them of your concern (remember, they tend to wave the bloody red jersey to garner popular and financial support from people who don't know how to ride without placing themselves in danger), and then contact these organizations, asking them to not support any future disingenuous attempts like this one.