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Safe Passing Ordinance Passes


Give bicycles enough distance!

The Houston City Council has just passed a “Safe Passage” ordinance which requires drivers not to get too close to pedestrians and bikers which is in effect immediately. The ordinance would levy fines against drivers who do not give enough space to non-drivers who share the roads. The requirement is 3 feet for cars and 6 feet for trucks. Bicyclists and pedestrians are far more vulnerable on the roadways than cars and trucks. Some cyclists, such as Bill Wheaton, says, “I was riding along on a city street and a woman came by and smacked me with her mirror,” said Wheaton, “and just kept going and did not even stop.” Other cyclists claim that they have been driven into the curb by motor vehicles and that you are in a very dangerous situation on Houston’s roadways. Drivers who do not give bicyclists and pedestrians adequate distance and violate the law face fines of $500 and charges of a Class C misdemeanor . The law is intended to make the roadways safer for pedestrians, bikers, wheelchairs and other disabled citizens, utility and construction workers and even those on horseback. The new law would not only protect those on the roadways who are more at risk by giving them a wider berth, but it would also prevent drivers of motor vehicles from overtaking or turning in front of them, harassing them, or throwing objects at them. Those who ride a bicycle or walk must be equally aware of traffic laws as drivers are. They regularly put themselves at risk when having to share the road with drivers. This is especially true of roadways where there is no designated bicycle lane. Motorists can be equally frustrated when bicyclists or pedestrians ignore traffic laws, so everyone needs to learn to share the road safely. Accidents, however, can happen. If you have been injured in an accident involving a motor vehicle and a bicycle or pedestrian, we can help you with your case. Call and speak to one of our experienced attorneys with details of your specific case. We have years of experience in accident cases involving motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. If you’ve been injured in such an incident, we can help you get compensation for the cost of damages, treatment, loss of work or wages, and potential legal charges.

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