Millions of Texans are bicycle enthusiasts, and it is hard for them to find places to ride safely. Unfortunately every year, hundreds of bicyclists are injured or killed while riding on Texas’s streets and highways. Positive changes to the law may be on the way for Texas’s bicyclists during the 85th legislative session.
There were several proposals in the 84th legislative session focused on bicycle riders’ safety. that were particularly interesting. House Bill 2459 would give bicyclists more room when a vehicle passes, and provides a criminal sanction against drivers who don’t give bicyclists the proper amount of room. House Bill 471 would require nighttime riders to have lamps on their bikes that shine a steady or flashing light, and House Bill 80 would ban texting while driving throughout the state (a distracted driver is even more dangerous to a bicyclist). By the end of the 84th legislative session, all three of these bills passed a House vote. The Bills were passed to the Senate Committee where were left pending.
It will be interesting to see if the proposals in House Bills 2459, 471, and 80 are brought up again during the 85th legislative session. It will also be interesting to watch whether new proposals are introduced to change Texas’s laws regarding bicyclists’ safety.
In the meantime, I hope all motorists are aware of people on bikes. We are all busy, but getting somewhere just a little faster is not worth the serious injury or death of a fellow Texan. For those on bikes, please always wear a helmet while riding, and wear bright colored clothing to make you more visible to traffic. Be sure also to have plenty of reflective material on you and your bicycle.