Friday, January 15, 2010

State to Look at Bike Laws Update

Posted By on Fri, Jan 15, 2010 at 1:29 PM

Sen. Elliot Werk
  • Sen. Elliot Werk
On the heels of the City of Boise’s updates to cycling laws, the Idaho Legislature is preparing to consider a similar package of safe biking measures, according to Boise Sen./bike commuter Elliot Werk.

Werk is working with Senate Transportation Committee Chairman John McGee, law enforcement as well as biking and running groups to craft several updates to state cycling law, including a 3-feet to pass law, similar to the one passed this week in Boise.

Boise’s new bike regs go into effect at the end of January.

Werk is also considering an anti-harassment ordinance to protect bikers, as well as measures aimed at bike-pedestrian safety including sidewalk and crosswalk rules.

“Law enforcement has said to us, it’s much better for us to have specific things to enforce,” Werk said.
McGee said he supports a discussion of bike laws in his committee this year and wants to help police better enforce the laws as more bikes hit the roads.

“We have to modernize our statutes to keep up with what’s going on in our communities,” McGee said.
Plus, the transportation committee is expected to have time on its hands this session, as the governor is not requesting any major new initiatives in road funding, as he did last year.

Werk is also looking at applying a $75 "enhanced" fine to any bicycle-motor vehicle violations that would help fund the safe routes to school program or other safety programs.

Lawmakers met with Boise, Ada County and State Police again this week, but the bill has not been finalized for introduction yet.

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