LEGISLATORS RIDE ORGANIZED BY DELAWARE BICYCLE COUNCIL
May 1 | To Dover, Delaware
What is the Delaware Bicycle Council? The Council is a commission of state government established in 1990 to “consider, review and work on matters pertaining to bicycling, bicycle safety and bicycle safety education and to make recommendations to various state agencies.” Members of the Council are appointed by the Governor with staggered terms and include representatives from the Department of Transportation, the Council on Transportation, the Department of Education, the Delaware State Police, the Office of Highway Safety, the Division of Parks and Recreation, the Council on Greenways and Trails, the Division of Public Health plus seven citizen members (two from New Castle County, one from Kent County, one from Sussex County and three At-large).
Passed in 2010, Delaware’s Vulnerable User Law was only the 2nd in the nation (after Oregon) at the time it was passed. The new law specified that, in the event of “serious physical injury of a vulnerable user (i.e. pedestrians and cyclists) of a public right-of-way” caused by careless or inattentive driving, two additional penalties would be applied:
1. Complete a traffic safety course approved by the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles;
2. Perform up to 100 hours of community service, which must include activities related to driver improvement and providing public education on traffic safety.
The Council again took the initiative, and was critical in securing the passage of, Delaware’s 3 Foot Passing Law in 2011. As a result of the work of the Council, Delaware state law now includes this language:
“The driver of a motor vehicle, when approaching a bicyclist traveling in the same direction, shall ensure the safety and protection of the bicyclist by leaving a reasonable and prudent distance between the vehicle and the bicycle. A three-foot (3′) passing distance between the motor vehicle and the overtaken bicycle shall be deemed to be reasonable and prudent. When impossible to achieve the three-foot (3′) passing distance, then the driver of the motor vehicle shall reduce its speed to not less than ten (10) miles per hour below the posted speed limit, before attempting to pass to the left of the bicycle.”
Just last year, the Delaware General Assembly also passed the a Right Turn Lane / Bike Lane Law, which made cyclists’ right to ride in road shoulders explicitly legal and also made it legal for cyclists to ride in right turn lanes even when we are traveling straight (not turning right).
The 2013 Legislators Ride, organized by the Council, has two main groups, one traveling south from New Castle County and one traveling north from Sussex County. Both groups will arrive simultaneously in Dover at 1PM.
If you would like to ride in the Legislators Ride and get a T-shirt or reserve a place on a bus back to your county, please register HERE>>>.
If you would like to also attend the afternoon session of the summit after the ride (from 1PM to 5PM), please register HERE>>>.