2017 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. We also work with infrastructure, law enforcement, state agency policy, and more.

How can you get involved?


CHANGE LANES TO PASS BICYCLES

House Study Bill 130

Iowa Bicycle Coalition Position: Monitoring

ABOUT THE BILL:  The bill would require motor vehicles to use the opposite side of the road or an adjacent travel lane to pass people on bicycles. It also recognizes that paved shoulders and bike lanes are adjacent travel lanes, and prohibits motorists from steering unreasonable close to people riding bicycles in those lanes.  It would 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.

The bill would strike the reflector option for bicycling at night, but allow for a 72-hour period where the bicyclist could return an affidavit and have the ticket expunged.

In addition, the bill requires bicyclists on primary or secondary roads to have front and rear lights visible from 500 feet at all times.  The Iowa Bicycle Coalition does not support this section.

  • The biggest positive change in bicycle safety comes from increasing the amount of people riding bicycles.  Unusual and burdensome regulations will not encourage people from bicycling.
  • This law would apply to primary and secondary roads.
    • Primary roads do exist both inside and outside the boundaries of municipalities.
    • Roads are defined as entire width between property lines  in 306.3
      1. This would include trails along roads.
      2. This would include trails that cross primary and secondary roads.
  • There is not proven to provide an additional benefit.
    • 2008 NHTSA, The Effectiveness of Daytime Running Lights For Passenger Vehicles, “The analysis found that DRLs have no statistically significant overall effects on the three target crashes.”
    • Daytime lights required on bicycles has not been enacted in any other state.
  • This will displace police resources more effective focused on deadly behavior like speeding, texting, and driving under the influence.
  • Liability shifts to the bicyclist despite contributing circumstances of the motorist.
  • Daytime lights are significantly expensive with a set costing $130-160.
    • If Iowa has 1 million bikes, that would cost $130 million.
    • Costs to outfit just RAGBRAI would be $3 million.
    • Or, people would quit bicycling, not worth the risk of $365 million economic impact.
  • Batteries in daytime visible units are limited.
    • Highest levels of output shorten battery life to 3 to 5 hours.
    • Not practical to stop and recharge for several hours.
Bill#: Sponsors: Outcome:
Bill Introduced  HSB 130
Senate Subcommittee HSB 130 Wills, Chair; Mohr, Heddens  Working on amendments
Senate Committee HSB 2/23 at 2 PM
Senate
House Subcommittee
House Committee
House
Governor

 


TEXTING PENALTIES

SF21    TEXTING AS A PRIMARY OFFENSE was filed by Sen. Tod Bowman and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.  The bill would strike provisions which prohibit enforcing provisions banning texting while driving as a primary offense.

 

SSB 1002 TEXTING AS A PRIMARY OFFENSE was filed as a Study Bill in the Senate Transportation Committee. The bill would strike provisions which prohibit enforcing provisions banning texting while driving as a primary offense. Senators Breitbach (C), Bertrand,  and Bowman are assigned to the subcommittee.

Strikes provisions which prohibit enforcing provisions banning texting while driving as a primary offense. See SF 21.

Iowa Bicycle Coalition Position: FOR

About the bill:  Increases penalties for texting and driving.

DOWNLOAD THE FACT SHEET

Bill#: Sponsors: Outcome:
Bill Introduced SSB 1002 Transportation Bill filed
Senate Subcommittee SSB 1002 Breitbach (C), Bertrand,  and Bowman  1/18 meeting
Senate Committee
Senate
House Subcommittee
House Committee
House
Governor

BICYCLING AND TRAIL FUNDING

SF14  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#: Sponsors: Outcome:
Bill Introduced
Senate Subcommittee
Senate Committee
Senate
House Subcommittee
House Committee
House
Governor