On March 4, there is a House Transportation Committee meeting at 2 PM on HF 244, a five foot passing bill.  We have been working on better language and need your help to contact legislators ask them to amend the bill to read “change lanes to pass bicycles”.   WE NEED YOU TO SEND AN EMAIL AS SOON AS POSSIBLE BEFORE 2 PM ON MARCH 4.

Why act now?  The first legislative funnel date is a deadline for introduced bills to be considered. After the first funnel on Friday, only bills that passed a committee in either chamber remain eligible for debate.

Who to contact: House Transportation Committee

The salutation is “Dear Representatives on the House Transportation Committee,”

Let them know you are an Iowa Bicycle Coalition member and want to see increased bicycle safety by adding “change lanes to pass” to House File 244.

Here are some points you can use in your letter.

  • DOT has already changed drivers manual to reflect change lanes to pass a bicycle.
  • Change Lanes to ​P​ass is easier to enforce, teach, and learn.
  • Cars cannot legally split lanes, but often do at the peril of bicyclists.
  • Clear statutory language for drivers education students to learn and others to follow.
  • 38% of bicycle crashes with motor vehicles happened at non-intersections without any special features like driveways or alleys.
  • Failure to yield is frequently cited as a cause of crashes.
  • We believe clear statutory language on safe passing would help reduce the 118 bicycle/vehicle collisions that occurred in 2014.
  • We believe when safe passing laws are taught in drivers education and have clear enforcement can save lives of people who ride bicycles.

Keep moving forward,

Mark Wyatt
Iowa Bicycle Coalition

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More background on Iowa’s Safe Passing Laws

Link to House File 244

Possible amendment language:

321.299 ADD New Section: 3.  The driver of a motor vehicle overtaking a person riding a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on a highway shall pass to the left thereof on the opposite side of the highway or adjacent travel lane and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle in accordance with 321.281.  Bicycle lanes and paved shoulders are considered adjacent travel lanes for the purposes of this passage.