In 2009 a bill was introduced and passed both chambers of the legislature, but died in the reconciliation process.
A similar bill, SB0361 has been introduced by Sen. John Broden. This bill is nearly identical to the 2009 bill as passed by the House. The bill has most of the provisions requested by cyclists, but also contains some objectionable provisions. In all, most cyclists agree that it is a giant step forward, and can win enough votes to become law.
Here are some links with more information:
There are three issues of special interest:
- The section prohibiting carrying a bundle or personal item does not appear this year. It is a very minor issue but caused a lot of confusion last year, and the study team agreed to let sleeping dogs lie.
- Motorist may pass a cyclist in a no-passing zone if it is safe to do so. The team feels that this will eliminate a lot of the resistance to the 3-foot passing rule. The 3-foot rule was the big sticking point last year.
- The provision to limit two-abreast riding on state and federal highways is still there, even though the team tried to eliminate it. Again, this is a minor issue since few riders will ride two-abreast on these highways.
- A new provision popped up: local authorities have the ability to prohibit bikes from non-Interstate freeways. This is pretty redundant, and of little concern to bikers.
- The ‘rules of the road’ for bike lanes has a small change that we think has big benefits: a cyclist is exempted from using the bike lane if it is unsafe. While the law doesn’t define the term, the team felt the cyclist was best able to decide what constitutes unsafe.
In summary, the bill has more good points than bad points, and in my opinion, deserves the full support of Indiana cyclists.