February 6, 2020

Safe Passing of Bicyclists



HF2189 adds enhanced penalties in the event of a serious injury or fatality when the motorist steers unreasonably close to a bicyclist.  This has been a long-time inconsistency in the Iowa Code.  Iowa has a vulnerable user section of the code that enhances the penalties to $500 fine and a 90-day license revocation in the event of a serious injury and $1000 fine and a 180-day license revocation in the event of a fatality.  HF2189 adds steering unreasonably close to a bicyclist to the list of vulnerable user enhanced penalties.

A violation of this section without resulting in injury or death will normally result in a $250 fine (plus court costs).  Under the current law, if a serious injury or fatality occurs when steering unreasonable close to a bicyclist no enhanced penalty is assessed.  However, other sections of code commonly applied to motor vehicles, such as 321.299 (unsafe passing) carry enhanced penalties.  

HF2189 creates consistent penalties for bicyclists and motor vehicles.  HF2189 does not create special penalties that only apply to bicyclists, but adds bicyclists to the list of other infractions that may result in enhanced penalties.



HF2189 – FOR Increasing penalties for bike crashes resulting in a serious injury or fatality.

  • Iowa Code 321.281 prohibits motorists from steering unreasonable close to bicyclists and carries a $250 fine (injury or no injury).
  • Other safe passing laws carry enhanced penalties in the event of serious injury or fatality.
  • Enhanced penalties include a $500 fine for a serious injury with a 90-day license revocation and a $1,000 fine for fatality with a 180-day license revocation.


We have grouped our bills by subject because multiple bills may address the same topic. Learn more on each topic at:

Or return to our legislative page: www.iowabicyclecoalition.org/legislation