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  • Posted Mar 7, 2023

Every year WE wonder why bicycle safety laws don't get passed. It's because WE don't take action.

This was an email we received from the Iowa Bicycle Coalition this morning (3/7/23).

We wanted to pass on the information in case you are not on their email list (you should be!)

40+ states have specific safe-passing laws for cyclists. Iowa is not one of them.

Did you know if you get killed walking, the penalties are stricter than if you get killed cycling?
What wouldn't they be the same?!?

There are three bicycle-friendly bills that have passed committee and are moving forward. Most years bills similar to these don't make it this far.

YOUR Legislators need to know that YOU support these bills. If only a few constituents contact them, they won't put forth the effort to support these bills even though it is the right thing to do.

When we sent our legislators emails this morning there were 93 supporters. An hour later there were 150 supporters (supporters = those show sent emails to their legislators)
There should be thousands of supporters! Why aren't cyclists taking action?

The Iowa Bicycle Coalition's "Action Center" makes is SUPER-EASY to send emails to your legislators. In 5 minutes you can contact all your legislators on all the bills with a standard response email, or spend an extra 10 minutes and customize some or all of the email verbiage.

We urge you to spend a few minutes NOW to send an email because by tomorrow these bills could be killed.

~~~~

Hello Cyclist,

We have successfully reached the first funnel deadline and at this point, only bills that have passed a committee will be considered moving forward. The good news is, we have several bills moving forward. This is where we really need your help, Scott.

Please contact your legislators, Sen. Mike Bousselot and Rep. Heather Matsonin support of:

  • Crosswalk Protections (HF586)
  • Standard Penalties for Fatal Crashes (SF16 and HF422)
  • Handsfree/Distracted Driving (SF207)

We make this easy. All of the email contacts are on one webpage. Use the Action Center to easily reach out to your elected officials and make your voice heard on these important safety issues.

Click https://p2a.co/AyyYjoW to access the Iowa Bicycling Action Center and take action on all three bills.

action%20center%20screenshot.png

Priority Bills:

Two companion bills addressing Standard Penalties for Fatal Crashes, SF16, and HF422, have made progress in Iowa's legislature. SF16 passed the Senate Transportation Committee unanimously, while HF422 passed the House Public Safety Committee with a vote of 16-3.

  • Currently, the penalty for a motorist who kills a bicyclist is the same as for a traffic violation, whereas killing a pedestrian or another motorist results in an enhanced penalty.
  • This bill seeks to establish a consistent penalty for all fatal traffic crashes.
  • We have provided further information to the House members who voted against the bill, and we are now awaiting debate in both chambers.
  • Take action at https://p2a.co/AyyYjoW

The Handsfree/Distracted Driving bill HF63 hit a roadblock in the House when no subcommittee was scheduled, causing it to stall.

  • Nevertheless, hope is not lost as SF207 is still in play and is currently waiting for a hearing by the Senate Ways and Means Committee before it can be debated by the full Senate.
  • This bill proposes that cell phones should be used in hands-free mode while driving to prevent distracted driving.
  • Our path to passing this bill will be challenging, and we need your help.
  • Take action at https://p2a.co/AyyYjoW

Our efforts to strengthen Crosswalk Protection for Bicyclists under HF214 have gained significant traction, as it passed the House Transportation Committee unanimously.

  • The bill mandates that motorists give right-of-way to both cyclists and pedestrians at crosswalks.
  • The next crucial step is the debate by the House, and we hope it garners the same level of support.
  • Take action at https://p2a.co/AyyYjoW

Keep moving forward,

?Mark Wyatt
Iowa Bicycle Coalition
P.O. Box 5562
Coralville, IA 52241
515.309.2867 (o) 319.936.4948 (c)

Advocacy Resources:

  1. Advocacy Toolkit - This is the how-to guide to approaching your legislators. Learn about legislative processes and how IBC advocates.
  2. Legislative Campaign Cheat Sheet - This document has notes on our campaigns so you can explain the policies to your legislators.
  3. Leave Behind Sheet - This is the document you leave with your candidates. It is condensed and easy to read.

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