Wyoming Passes a 3-Foot Pass Law

Photo from bikelaw.com

Cyclists in the United States get to celebrate an important legislative win with Wyoming's passage of HB-85 which amends existing state law with a provision requiring motorists to provide at least three feet of clearance when overtaking cyclists.

The family of Amy Bennett lobbied hard for the bill's passage. Amy was struck and killed by a tractor trailer on September 8, 2014 while riding her bike in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It's a testament to her family to have a bill pushed through the legislature in such a short time frame.

The new provision is a great step forward for Wyoming. Bike Law's Ben Mack outlines some areas for future improvement in the full article (linked below).

Read the full article at Bike Law LLC

TAGS: 3-Foot Wyoming Amy Bennet HB-85 Credit: Bike Law LLC

Crooks are using Strava and other Apps to Steal Bikes

Nothing spurs innovation in the criminal mind like the drive for that next hit off the crack pipe, needle, or whatever the heck it is they do these days. Sadly, that has implications for cyclists.

It seems that thieves have learned that they can use a smart phone and fitness apps that create and display cycling routes to target your bike collection. Since most people also list the type of bikes they own, thieves can conveniently target higher end bikes and larger collections. [U.S. citizens, rejoice in the possibility that your tax dollars may have paid for the miscreant's smartphone.]

While this is almost certainly a very rare occurrence, now that it is getting picked up in the main stream media there is a possibility that it will become more "fashionable."

If you are using Strava, it's quite easy to tweak your Settings/Privacy options to create a Privacy Zone that will cloak your location. It may take some time, but according to a question and response in the Strava Forums, the privacy zone should be applied to your past activities (note, I believe this will also remove your achievements that start or stop within your privacy zone).

Read the full article at Hull Daily Mail

TAGS: stealing bikes theft Credit: Hull Daily Mail

New Technology Helps Motorists To Drive Safely Around Cyclists

When I review an Incident Report here at the Close Call Database for Cyclists, one of the first things I do is to note the direction of travel that the cyclist reported, then I switch the map to "streetview" mode. That shows me the road conditions at the scene of the incident. I note width of the roadway, whether or not there is a shoulder or a bike lane, the quality of the pavement, whether or not visibility is impeded, how much other activity is in the area. I try to understand how the situation appeared to the cyclist and to the driver.

One thing that I have noticed is that older transportation infrastructure, which is often narrower than modern roadways, often creates hazardous conditions for motorists and cyclists and complicates the ability to share the road safely. Looking out for cyclists is probably resented by many drivers because it adds an additional layer of stress to what's already a stressful situation. New technology from Jaguar Land Rover takes aim at this problem by helping to alert motorists to cyclists that they encountering. The technology even has sensors that prevent drivers from accidentally "dooring" cyclists by preventing them from opening a door until after an on-coming cyclist has passed.

Read the full article at designboom

TAGS: car technology safer driving Credit: designboom

Cyclist Hit from Behind, Ticketed for What?

Matthew Beaudin was hit from behind while riding on Monarch Road on December 2nd. He shares his experience in a VeloNews article that appeared earlier today. It's a very well written piece and I encourage you to read it.

Photo Credit: Kevin Scott Batchelor

But before I give you the teaser that will make you want to read it, I want to point something out to the law enforcement officers that visit this site.

Cyclists are NOT the same. We are a diverse group. Our community includes leisure riders, hipsters on single speeds, commuters, recreational cyclists, enthusiasts, and actual professionals. People like the rider in this story easily ride between 5,000 - 8,000 miles a year. They know how to handle their bikes. They don't drift out of their lane or off their line. They handle their bikes better than most drivers will ever control their vehicles because they have to: unlike driving where mistakes kill other people, mishandling a bike has real consequences for the operator.

Cyclists from around the globe and especially the Boulder County area should note this officer's behavior. This is an egregious example of the "blame the cyclist first" mentality that denies cyclists the equal protection under the law to which they are entitled. This is why on-bike cameras and the documentary evidence they provide should be embraced by cyclists everywhere. It's not a question of whether or not you can afford to ride with a camera . . . you simply can't afford not to!

Now to Beaudin's story:

As the car’s front bumper hit my rear wheel, the sound of it wasn’t but absorbed. The front wheel popped out, and the tire ripped off as the violence of energy went from car to bike and human being. I came down on a naked fork going roughly 25 miles per hour.

And so this is how it happens. This is how you die.

Read the full article at VeloNews

TAGS: Boulder, Hit from Behind, Police Work? Credit: VeloNews

A Motorist Assaults Two Cyclists In Dallas; Police Ticket Driver and Cyclist

Two cyclists, including a woman, were attacked and beaten by a motorist in Dallas on December 20, 2014. The incident occurred at Cedar Springs and Turtle Creek.

Photo Credit: Ling Yi
The pair was riding down Cedar Springs Rd in Dallas with another cyclist Friday night.
“A car pulled up next to me and started yelling,” explained George. 
“He seemed very angered by the fact we were cycling,” said Elle.

George Wendt said the driver cut him off, hit him in the side, knocked him over, then got out of the  car.
“He came right up to me and started punching me in the face.”
“I just kind of charged him. Tried to push him off,” said Elle. “That’s when he started punching me.”

Elle Natchke has a broken nose, two black eyes and knots on her head.

Two people passing by stopped and restrained the driver until paramedics arrived. Police didn't arrive immediately, by the time they did the witnesses had left the scene. After hearing two different versions of the same story, the police ticketed the driver and -- wait for it -- the cyclist for misdemeanor assault.

The cyclists are trying to locate the two witnesses in an attempt to set the record straight (something tells me the motorist is hoping the witnesses are not found).

Here is a second, more comprehensive story from crimeblog.dallasnews.com.

Read the full article at CBS Dallas Fortworth

TAGS: Dallas/Fortworth, Cyclists Assaulted, Seeking Witnesses Credit: CBS Dallas Fortworth