There are multiple bills pending in this session, sponsored by Senator Brownsberger that would improve bicycle safety:
S.1807 – “An Act to protect vulnerable road users” would create a definition of vulnerable road users, which would include but not be limited to cyclists. It would further define the safe passing distance of “vulnerable road users,” based on the speed of the passing vehicle. Under 30 miles per hour would require a minimum passing distance of 3 feet, adding 1 foot per 10 miles per hour after that; 4 feet at 40 MPH, 5 feet at 50 MPH and so on.
S.1808 – “An Act to protect bicyclists in bicycle lanes” would make it a ticketable offense to park a motor vehicle in a marked bicycle lane (punishable by a fine of up to $100.)
S.1809 – “An Act providing for the safety of bicyclists traveling on bicycle paths” Senator Brownsberger has requested the Joint Committee on Transportation consider a redraft, rather than the bill as originally filed. The redrafted bill would require drivers to yield for bicyclists crossing in crosswalks and other marked facilities used by bicyclists, such as road crossings of bicycle or shared use paths, intersection crossings of bike lanes or other bicycle facilities, and all designated school crossings. These changes would not relieve a bicyclist from the responsibility to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. The proposed changes would also require investigation of accidents that occur in such marked facilities.
S.1810 – “An Act to protect vulnerable road users by requiring certain vehicles to be equipped with side under-ride guards and blind spot mirrors” would require convex mirrors and a “lateral protective device” or a side guard to be installed on all trucks in the Commonwealth over a certain size. The mirrors would allow drivers to see more of whats around them and the side guard is intended to prevent any pedestrians or cyclists hit by a truck from being run over by the rear wheels. Turning trucks have been responsible for many cyclist and pedestrian fatalities in the region during recent years.
Senator Brownsberger also filed a bill relative to mandatory helmet use. He has however, decided to support an approach that would encourage helmet use but not make it mandatory, due to concerns about selective enforcement.
Office of State Senator William N. Brownsberger