2018 Policy and Legislation

The Iowa Bicycle Coalition is concerned about the safety of bicyclists in Iowa.  Improving laws to protect bicyclists is one part of the Coalition’s bicycle advocacy strategy.  There are several policy and funding bills being monitored by the Iowa Bicycle Coalition.  You can take action on any or all of these bills from this page.

Change Lanes To Pass Bicycles
Penalty For Speeding in Fatal Crashes
Hit and Run Reporting
Bicycling and Trail Funding

CHANGE LANES TO PASS BICYCLES

House File 2341

Iowa Bicycle Coalition Position: AGAINST

ABOUT THE BILL:

  • IBC OPPOSES THIS SECTION: This bill requires bicyclists operating on 45 mph speed limit roads or greater to have 144 square inches of high visibility or reflective clothing or material visible from the rear.  There are exemptions for crossings and large bike events.
  • Require motor vehicles to use the opposite side of the road or an adjacent travel lane to pass people on bicycles.
  • Recognizes that paved shoulders and bike lanes are adjacent travel lanes.
  • Prohibits motorists from steering unreasonable close to people riding bicycles in those lanes.
  • Allow motorists to pass bicyclists in a no passing zone if there is no oncoming traffic, not at the crest of hill, intersection, bridge, railroad crossing or viaduct.
  • Strike the reflector option for bicycling at night.
  • Allow for a 72-hour period where the bicyclist could return an affidavit and have the ticket expunged.

TAKE ACTION:

  • Fill out the form with your name, address, zip code and email.
  • Edit the message in the white box with your own story about safe passing.
  • Send emails, post to Facebook, or tweet to your legislator.

A FEW TIPS:

  • Include your address in the first line.
  • Be VERY polite.
  • Tell them about how you have been passed too close.

BILL TRACKING:

House File 2341 is awaiting debate with the Iowa House of Representatives before going to the Senate.

SF450 (a companion to HF513) has passed subcommittee with Smith, Carlin, and Danielson.  This bill must pass the Senate Transportation Committee and full Senate before going to the Iowa House.


INCREASE PENALTY FOR SPEEDING IN FATAL CRASHES

Iowa Bicycle Coalition Position: FOR

About this bill: HF2430 was introduced late the session. The bill addresses a common issue for bicyclists – speeding motorists. A long-standing complaint of bicyclists is the lack of penalties for dangerous driving. Tomorrow, a subcommittee in the Iowa House takes up HF2430, filed by Rep. Dean Fisher from Tama (IA-72). This bill aims to charge drivers with a class C felony if they cause the death of someone by driving 25 mph over the speed limit. A class C penalty carries a prison sentence up to 10 years and a $10,000 fine.

TAKE ACTION:

Email your representative and ask them to support HF2150. Please use the form on this page to take action.

BILL TRACKING:

HF2150 has passed transportation committee and is eligible for debate with the Iowa House of Representatives.


RIGHT ARM TO SIGNAL RIGHT TURN

Iowa Bicycle Coalition Position: FOR

About this bill: Senate File 2022 would make it legal to use your right arm to signal a right turn by bicycle. This bill allows bicyclists to extend their right arm horizontally to signal a right turn. This law is encouraged by the:

Using your right arm to signal a right turn is common and 37 states have adopted a right arm right turn signal.  No state however has completely stricken the old method of signaling with an upturned left arm.

Pointing to the direction you wish to turn is far more intuitive for both the cyclist and motorist. According to a study by Drury & Pietraszewski, the bent left arm signal was correctly perceived by 65% of following drivers, but the straight right arm signal was perceived correctly by 78%. Not only is it safer and more intuitive to point in the direction you plan to turn, but the right arm signal is also easier to teach children: “Point which way you intend to go.”

TAKE ACTION:

No action at this time.

BILL TRACKING:

SF2022 is currently in subcommittee with Kraayenbrink, Breitbach, and Lykam.  The subcommittee has been cancelled and we do not anticipate it will be rescheduled.

No action at this time


HIT & RUN CRASH REPORTING

Iowa Bicycle Coalition Position: FOR

About the bill:  This bill is known as Emmalee’s law, after a December 2015 crash that left Emmalee Jacobs as the victim of a hit and run crash with a CyRide bus in Ames.  This bill clarifies the reporting of hit and run crashes and requires a person involved in a crash to report the crash if they learn of a death or injury following the crash.

Currently, there is a gap in the Iowa Code that requires the driver to have knowledge of an injury or fatality at the time of a crash.

TAKE ACTION:

Email, Tweet, or Facebook your senator and ask them to support HF428. Please use the form on this page to take action.

BILL TRACKING:

HF2400 This bill has passed the House Judiciary Committee and awaits debate in the Iowa House of Representatives before going to the Iowa Senate and repeating the process.


BICYCLING AND TRAIL FUNDING

SF14  HF 597 NATURAL RESOURCES SALES TAX was filed by Sen. David Johnson and referred to the Ways & Means.

Increases the state sales tax to 6.375%, with the additional tax going to the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund. Makes changes to the SAVE fund tax in order to keep the revenue constant.

Iowa Bicycle Coalition Position: FOR

ABOUT THE BILL: The legislature appropriates money into the Iowa Recreational Trails Program.  In addition, the Iowa Water and Land Legacy Conservation Fund has funding for trails.

BILL TRACKING:

HF597 is currently awaiting subcommittee assignment.  This bill must pass the subcommittee, House Judiciary Committee and full House of Representatives before going to the Iowa Senate and repeating the process.

 No action recommended at this time.