Success: Bicycle insurance requirement defeated in Missouri House; support of our statewide allies made the difference

In December, we learned that Rep. Redmon of Canton had introduced a bill to require all people who bicycle to hold liability insurance--similar to that required of automobile drivers.

Support from cyclists and groups from around Missouri has helped defeat a bill t
Support from cyclists and groups from around Missouri has helped defeat a bill to require bicycle liability insurance

This is a serious problem--some cyclists already hold such insurance, but for the many who don't it is very difficult, expensive--or even impossible--to obtain.  The bicycle insurance requirement would create an expensive system impossible to enforce, discourage bicycling, and be incredibly expensive and discriminating to bicyclists.

And all that without offering any clear benefits.

In short--a classic example of over-regulation and government overreach in action.

The statewide bicycle community responds vigorously - and now the bill has been officially withdrawn

We immediately discussed the issue in our Legislative Committee and developed a position and strategy. Our partners across the state lept into action, soon arranging a phone call between Rep. Redmon and a consituent who is a lawyer and a cyclist.  Rep. Redmon listened carefully and agreed the bicycle insurance requirement was a bad idea.

When the legislative session started, we wrote a brief article explaining the situation to cyclists in Missouri--that unexpected went viral on social media, becoming by far the most-read article on our web site in the past six months.  So we knew that was an issue that hit a nerve with cyclists across the state

Your many messages of support for bicycling to representatives in the Missouri House from across the state carried a lot of weight as well--building a foundation not only for opposition to HB 115 but for support of our entire Legislative Platform for 2015.

And yesterday--good news: Rep. Redmon has officially withdrawn HB 115.

How you can help now

  • Plan to visit Jefferson City Monday, April 13th, 2015 for our annual Capitol Day and Legislators Bicycle Ride. Your personal visit with your own Missouri legislators create the relationships that help protect us from bad legislation like this and encourages the development of positive legislation.
     
  • We are working hard to develop positive relationships with legislators like Rep. Redmon. So, unless you live in or very close to Rep. Redmon's district in far northeastern Missouri, please do not contact Rep. Redmon directly.  Instead . . .
     
  • Please contact YOUR OWN Missouri state rep and say:
    • Look up your own Missouri state rep by your address here.
       
    • Look up your own Missouri state rep by zip code here.
       
    • Sample message:

      Thank you for supporting bicycling and opposing HB 115, which Rep. Redmon recently withdrew.

      Please support the issues supported by Missouri's bicycle, pedestrian, and trails groups, including:

      - No texting while driving

      - Prohibiting dangerous harassment of people who walk and bike, and throwing objects at or from vehicles

      - Safe passing of people who bike and walk

      - Increased penalties for drivers who whose dangerous driving injures or kills

       

Battling laws discriminating against people who bicycle in Missouri

This year MoBikeFed is celebrating its 20th anniversary.  When our founders got together in 1993 to work to formally organize MoBikeFed in November 1994, one of their primary objectives was to overturn a key Missouri law that discriminated against and discouraged bicycling--the state's mandatory sidepath law.

Supporting positive legislation in Jefferson City and Washington, DC
Supporting positive legislation in Jefferson City and Washington, DC--and opposing bad legislation--is an extremely important part of our mission--and members like you make it possible!

From 1993 forward, opposing these discriminatory laws, building support for bicycling and walking, and helping support friends of and champions for bicycling in Jefferson City has been a major focus of the Federation.

  • In 1995, we developed and supported the bill that repealed the mandatory sidepath requirement (the law banned cyclists from using roads and highways whenever a bicycle path or trail was nearby; the law had been on the books for decades but the recent development of the Katy Trail, which parallels other roads and highways for portions of its route, brought the issue to a head)
     
  • Already in 1998, an attempt to reinstate the mandatory sidepath law was made and MoBikeFed led the effort to organize legislators in opposition and defeat it
     
  • In 2010, we coordinated with a wide variety of local, state, and national organizations to oppose a proposed bicycle ban on state roads in St. Charles County.  Throught the joint effort of all of those groups, most important citizens of St Charles County opposed to the proposal, it was finally defeated.
     
  • In 2012, we worked with our statewide allies to defeat a proposal to ban cycling on state highways.
     
  • In 2013, we again worked with statewide allies and defeated a bicycle ban proposal
     
  • In 2014, we worked with allies from across the state to defeat a sneak-attack proposal to remove bicycle funding from a proposed statewide transportation funding initiative, and also (again!) worked to defeat a bicycle ban proposal
     
  • See a complete summary of our legislative work in support of bicycling, walking, and trails over the past 20 years here--you'll see that successfully opposing anti-bicycle proposals like this has been a major thread of this work--and one of the major accomplishments that your ongoing membership and support has made possible.

Your membership and support of MoBikeFed is extremely important in our work to defeat these serious threats to bicycling in Missouri.  Your support gives us the capacity to have a lobbyist on hand in Jefferson City every day during the legislative session to monitor the situation and give us invaluable advice on how best to deal with legislative initiatives.

Personal meetings and communication with legislators is vitally important
Personal meetings and communication with legislators is vitally important to educate them about our issues

When you take the time to visit the Capitol in person, to call your Senator or Representative, or send an email message, your help is invaluable in educating the General Assembly members about our issues and building personal relationship with lawmakers that helps them understand our side of the issues.

And the help and support given by our many allied organizations across Missouri--the members of our Advisory Commission, Legislative Committee, those who are themselves MoBikeFed members and donors, and those who ally with us because of a mutually shared vision--is completely invaluable.

Since MoBikeFed's founding 20 years ago, we have seen the landscape for bicycling, walking, and trails in the state make a major shift.  There is a huge eco-system of organizations, individuals, and groups working hard to support better bicycling, walking, and trails across the state, in communities large and small.

The strength of these individuals and groups from all across Missouri is what helps us keep Missouri moving forward in a positive direction for bicycling, walking, and trails--but also helps us defeat negative proposals like the bicycle insurance requirement when they happen.

Thank you!

 

One of the primary objectives of our Vision for Bicycling and Walking in Missouri is to "Encourage more bicycling and walking across Missouri"--and that very much includes work to defeat proposals like the bicycle insurance requirement, that strongly discourage bicycling and walking. 

Another primary objective of our Vision is to "Build a movement in support of bicycling and walking" - and that happens in spades every time we work on a statewide legislative issue, where working with and cooperating with individuals and groups from all across the state, in communities from the smallest to the largest, is absolutely vital to our success.  We routinely work by taking the pulse of our membership through social media, surveys, and carefully listening to member feedback and comments left on the website, by discussing issues and developing concensus in our Advisory Commission and Legislative Committee, which represent bicycle, pedestrian, and trails-related interests from across Missouri

Your ongoing membership and generous support of MoBikeFed help defeat wrong-headed proposals like the bicycle insurance requirement--and help make our Vision a reality.  We couldn't do it without you and your support!

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