Posts Tagged ‘driver education’

Bike lane education in Detroit

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Every city goes through an initial learning period with new road design elements. Local examples include HAWK signals and roundabouts.

In Detroit, there have been discussions on driver and cyclist education on bike lanes. They’re relatively new to many neighborhoods. Eventually people learn how to behave around and in bike lanes, however, an effective educational campaign can speed up that learning process.

And there are some potential educational options being discussed and even developed.

At the state level, bike lanes are briefly and sporadically mentioned in the Secretary of State’s booklet, What every Driver Must Know.

We really like this video that was produced by the city of Minneapolis.

They also have an educational video on shared road designs.

Fuzzy Dice 1, Cyclists 0

Friday, October 16th, 2009

Red fuzzy diceSenate Bill 276, aka the Fuzzy Dice Bill, passed the Michigan Senate unanimously.

According to the Detroit News:

Fuzzy dice hanging from the rearview mirror would no longer be outlawed under a bill that won passage in the Senate today.

The chamber voted unanimously for a measure that strikes down a law that says items dangling from the rearview mirror are a no-no.

“We understand there are many distractions in cars, such as cell phones or GPS systems, but we did not feel that a rosary or air freshener was in the same league,” said Sen. Ron Jelinek, R-Three Oaks, sponsor of the bill. “This will help make it legal to do what thousands of Michigan residents already do — hang a memento from their mirror.”

Great job!

Now let’s look at some bicycle safety bills the Michigan Senate has not passed or voted on.

  • Senate Bills 529 & 530 which “enhance penalties for moving violations causing physical injury or death to bicyclists and other vulnerable roadway users” according to the League of Michigan Bicyclists.
  • Senate Bill 531 which stipulates that driver education “shall include information concerning the laws pertaining to bicycles and shall emphasize awareness of the operation of bicycles on the streets, roads, and highways of this state.”

Bicycle advocates in the state of Washington are also pursuing a Vulnerable User Bill. (Seattle PI via How We Drive)

Advocates for a new law argue that families of those killed or maimed deserve greater sense of justice than a traffic ticket brings. However, a conviction for negligent driving doesn’t carry much steeper punishment. Typically, a first-time offender gets probation or a deferred sentence.

“Do they need an automatic license suspension or do they need driver retraining. These are the questions that we should ask,” Hiller said. He noted that people who don’t control their vicious dogs face more criminal culpability than drivers for negligence behind the wheel.

We’re not sure if that last sentence is true in Michigan.

But, if the Michigan House and Governor follow the Senate’s lead, fuzzy dice will be safe again Michigan.

Bike bills going before House Committee

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

The Michigan House Transportation Committee is taking up three bills at 10:30 AM this morning which directly impact bicycling in Michigan.

Below are the bills and their legislative summaries.

What can you do? Contact your state representative and voice your support.

Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance and the League of Michigan Bicyclists will be at the committee meeting to provide testimony.

We’ll also note that both Representative Knollenberg and Representative Leland are cyclists. Even though they represent different parties, they’re both members of the bicycling party.

Penalties for injuring vulnerable road users

  • HB 4958 – Representative Knollenberg
  • HB 4959 – Representative Leland

House Bills 4958 and 4959 would impose criminal penalties on those who commit a moving violation while operating a motor vehicle and as a result cause injury or death to a “vulnerable roadway user” on a highway.

The term “vulnerable roadway user” refers to a pedestrian or a person on a “nonmotorized transportation device,” such as a bicycle, skateboard, roller skates, or inline skates. The penalties would apply when the vulnerable roadway user was complying with traffic laws.

Causing injury would be a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than one year and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

Causing death would be a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 15 years and/or a fine of up to $7,500.

Driver Education: Bicycle Awareness

  • HB 4960 – Representative Leland

The bill would require that driver education classroom instruction include information about laws related to bicycles and emphasize the awareness of bicycles on streets, roads, and highways. The bill would amend the Driver Education Provider and Instructor Act (MCL 256.657).

The section being amended applies to “segment 1” teen driver training. This is the initial driver education program for individuals 17 years of age and younger. Driver training is not required for individuals 18 and over to obtain a driver’s license (although it is available).