Thursday, February 4, 2010

John Paul Frerer Bicycle Safety Act Passes House- But Held On Motion to Reconsider

HB 1487, the John Paul Frerer Bicycle Safety Act passed the House today by a vote of 95-18. Debate centered on whether we should mandate helmets on 4-lane highways (the bill does not, and current law does not speak to this) and whether bicycles should be on 4-lane highways at all (current law allows them to be). The bill was held on a motion to reconsider, and I expect two amendments to be offered towards these two issues tomorrow.

The problem with the proposed helmet requirement is one of practicality. In my district, scores of students bike from apartments on 98 or 49 to make their way to Southern Miss. There's no room to store a helmet while they're in class. And there's a certain degree of liberty and risk one assumes when climbing on a bicycle. While I certaintly advocate helmets for children, I don't think government should mandate a helmet law for adults.

As far as the 4-lane highways, well, banning bicycles from those areas basically knocks out students living on those thoroughfares from biking to school. It also puts a major dent in the number of cyclists who enjoy biking on all of Mississippi's roadways (except interstates, which federal law prohibits). And you could make the argument that biking on a 4-lane highway is safer than a 2-lane highway because the motorist has more room to pass.

All that to say, I hope we can beat back these two amendments tomorrow and get the bill over to the Senate.

1 comment:

straightup1649 said...

common sense! lol there aren't many shoulders in pontotoc county. no room to move over 3 feet. what you do is give them a ticket..the bike riders. they will be hurt or killed, its dangerous enough for cars and trucks.I left ms. for many years and would often laugh to myself at stupid laws or comments. I would think, that dog wouldn't hunt in ms! well I moved back about 10 years ago and I have been so disappointed. Bikes don't belong on the highway,people should be fat if they want to be, its up to the business owner if people smoke in his establishment,second hand smoke might irritate a condition you already does not give you cancer! At any rate its more of an irritation than a danger. Now what folks need to worry about is landfills, plastic factories and the huge radon field underneath the ground in ms!none of these ever come up. ty s. barnett ooh I almost forgot to mention the law you have about the if daddy didn't leave a will...momma doesn't own her land anymore..unless her kids will sign their part?? over to her and if any of her kids are deceased..then she has to try and run down their kids and pray they will sign her land over to her!where did all those down to earth folks go that use to live in this state???