Three new bills cycling and walking bills have been introduced to the state legislature this week and local advocates are looking for your support.
This bill amends the Vulnerable User law to include language that treats “taunting or maliciously throwing” something as harassment of vulnerable users.
The bill will also be amended to include language prohibiting drivers from doing the following:
1. Not giving vulnerable users including cyclists, walkers and emergency responders three feet.
2. Distracting vulnerable users with the intent to harm them.
3. Force or try to force a vulnerable user off the road.
The bill would also require people who violate the rules to complete a traffic safety course and complete between 100-200 hours of community service related to driver safety or safety education.
Punishments for not meeting the community service and safety requirements include a $12,500 fine and the loss of a driver’s license for a year.
The bill would ban texting while driving. The law has been introduced several times and has failed each time. Arizona is currently only one of four states that does not have a statewide texting ban.
The bill enacts several changes to the existing bill. The changes require driver to leave a safe distance between cyclists regardless of which direction the cyclist was riding and gives the motorist the ability to cross double yellow lines in order to give cyclists the room the law requires.
It also changes the wording to require motorists to yield to cyclists while making a right turn.
The bills are a result of work done by legislators Ethan Orr, Steve Farley and injured cyclist Brendan Lyons and other advocates.
Lyons is requesting cyclists contact their legislators asking them to support the legislation.
You can also use the Find or Contact My Legislators function.
Lyons has included three form letters to make it easier to support the bills. Download the letters here.