Governor Perry is prepared to VETO the Safe Passing Bill SB-488. Please call his office IMMEDIATELY and request that he ___________ .
His office number is 1-800-252-9600
I just got this email. I called Governor Goodhair's (RIP, Molly) office immediately, and I urged him to veto this bill.
This is a bill that moves bicycles closer to the "toy vehicle" classification that many "cycling advocates" seem to want. It does nothing to protect cyclists that isn't already in the books. Other states that have adopted this bill have not successfully prosecuted people for violating it, because there is no provable evidence. Even if a cyclist is struck, the defense remains as it is now. "The cyclist swerved into my path."
This bill exempts bicycles from the provision of the bill, allowing cyclists to commit the very offense against pedestrians that cars, trucks, and motorcycles are prohibited from. As such, it removes bicycles from the category of "legal vehicle", and moves them closer to either "pedestrian" or "toy vehicle" status. This is bad law, written from the Cycling Inferiority Complex perspective and promoted by fear-governed cyclists and organizations looking to appeal to fear-governed cyclists. Resist the temptation.
We can, and must, do better... like getting a bill to remove the "far to the right" language responsible for most overtaking collisions.
P.S. I just got a second email, from the Texas Bicycle Coalition this time, waving the "bloody red jersey". In the email it states that "More than 1000 vulnerable road users in Texas die every year. This bill will save lives!"
That is simply untrue. Not only is it a false statement that "more than 1000 vulnerable road users in Texas die every year" (combining every motorcyclist, pedestrian, bicyclist, farm machinery operator and "other" road fatality in Texas involving a second vehicle, including those deaths that would in no way be effected by this bill, the annual total falls almost 50% below the 1,000 claimed), this bill will not "save lives", any more than the current law that states "vehicles must pass at a safe distance" does.
This is not an education bill (education might save lives). This is not an enforcement bill (it's an unenforceable law). There is no money attached to this bill to do either. This is a "feel good" law that threatens the status of bicycles as legal vehicles to the benefit of fear-mongers. At the most, this bill allows a motorist to be charged with its violation, but they can already be charged with "failure to maintain safe distance when passing", so in effect, it does nothing but "wave the bloody red jersey" by playing on cyclist's fears and feelings of inferiority.
Support cyclists' rights, not their fears.