Unsafe Passing of Bikes & Pedestrians

So I just got a new case!: My client was riding his bike, when a motorcycle illegally passed him on the right, hit him, and dragged him down the street before he was able to stop his motorcycle. A nasty, needless injury. So obviously I’ve been learning more about illegal passing, in doing so I learned about the tragic story of Ann Weatherill, a middle school teacher who was killed by an oncoming vehicle which was passing a cattle truck while riding with friends on Mother’s Day 2004. In 2005, the Ann Law was passed in Washington State, making it illegal for motorists to pass while an oncoming cyclist is approaching, but the law doesn’t go far enough to ensure that pedestrians and cyclists have a zone of safety, and that the driving public knows how far away they should stay while passing a cyclist.

BUT, here’s the good news!.
The Washington Legislature is currently considering a bill (Senate Bill 5564) to amend the Rules of the Road to require a 3′ passing distance between motorists and people or bikes, that’s good news!

Please write to the Senate Transportation Committee today and ask them to vote for this bill.

Feel free to rip off this email:
I write today to urge you to vote yes on SENATE BILL 5564 to amend RCW 46.61.100 to provide for the safe passing of bicycles and pedestrians by a “safe distance of at least three feet”. Unsafe passing of pedestrians and cyclists is a far more endemic problem that you probably realize, and every year kids, moms, dads, brothers, and sisters are killed from unsafe passing. Passing this bill would inform motorists of how far away they need to stay from people and bikes to pass safely. Please amend this bill to do your part to make our roads safer for everyone. Thank you.

The members of the Senate Transportation Committee are:
John.Smith@leg.wa.gov, curtis.king@leg.wa.gov, Tracey.Eide@leg.wa.gov, Don.Benton@leg.wa.gov, Steve.Hobbs@leg.wa.gov, Joe.Fain@leg.wa.gov, Andy.Billig@leg.wa.gov, sharon.brown@leg.wa.gov, mike.carrell@leg.wa.gov, doug@senatorericksen.com, Nick.Harper@leg.wa.gov, Steve.litzow@leg.wa.gov, mark.mullet@leg.wa.gov, Christine.Rolfes@leg.wa.gov, Nathan.Schlicher@leg.wa.gov, tim.sheldon@leg.wa.gov

They are voting today, so don’t delay.
Here’s a link to the bill being considered:
(Click Me: A Copy of the Senate Bill being considered.).

Here’s a link to an annual bike ride honoring the memory of Ann Weatherill:
(Click Me: An annual bike ride honoring the memory of Ann Wetherill).

Stay Safe, Be Smart, Do Your Part….
Sean.

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