For the third consecutive legislative session, new bicycle laws are being considered. Both proposals would require youngsters up to 17 years of age wear a helmet. One proposal would add a requirement that motorists passing a bike allow at least three feet clearance. As of February 7, each bill has been assigned to committee, but neither has been heard.
SB0553 Bicycle helmets and vehicle operation near bicycles. Provides that it is a Class C infraction: (1) for a bicyclist under 18 years of age to fail to wear protective headgear when operating or riding on a bicycle; and (2) for a person driving a vehicle overtaking a bicycle to not allow at least three feet of clearance between the vehicle and the bicycle and not return to the original lane until the vehicle is safely clear of the bicycle.
HB1141 Protective headgear for minors on bicycles. Provides that it is a Class C infraction for a bicyclist less than 18 years of age to fail to wear protective headgear when operating or riding on a bicycle.
Indiana cyclists will nearly unanimously support the 3-foot law, but the mandatory helmet law is controversial. Below are four links which will allow you to follow both bills in the legislature, as well as have an informed opinion on the merits of mandatory helmet laws. What do you think?
Arguments against compulsory helmet laws,