Proposed Bill Could Mean Safety Room for Bicycle Riders

by Diane Tuazon
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - When he's not working as a nurse at a local hospital, David Shaw is an avid bicyclist, and an active member of the Permian Basin Bicycle Association.

"I think cycling is becoming a mainstream sport," Shaw said.

Lately riding around on his favorite bike has been on going battle with cars on the road.

"A 2,000 pound car and a 200 pound bike with a person is no competition," Shaw said.

David Ham, who owns a local bike shop says that some drivers are careless when it comes to avoiding bicyclists and pedestrians on the road.

"I think that people aren't aware of the problem. When you're in the car you think you have enough room, but the side mirror doesn't show that," Ham said.

Ham says he supports a proposed bill, which would require vehicles to allow a safe distance of at least 3 feet when passing vulnerable people on the road.
To riders like Shaw, that's not asking for a lot.

"We're not going to be out there with a measuring stick. We just need a little space," Shaw said.

Violators would face a $500 fine, unless the violations caused bodily injury; in that case it would be a Class B Misdemeanor with a $2,000 fine and 6 months in prison.

"It's very devastating to lose a family over something that could have been prevented. Just remember to put a face with the cyclist down the road. We're not just an object going down the road, but a person," Shaw said.

It's a new law pedaling its way through, made to protect everyone sharing the road.