"Big" bicycle bill moves forward in MO Senate

Hoorah! Finally, some good news!

Several Missouri Senators, with Senator Bray as the main sponsor, have been working to amend the Bicycle/Pedestrian/Motorcycle Safety Bill to another transportation bill moving through the Missouri Senate.

March 31st, they did it! The bicycle bill has moved forward in the Missouri Senate, as Amendment 7 to Senator Goode's SB 710.

SB 710 began as a child safety restraint bill, but now has additional sections that deal with primary seatbelt law enforcement (though with some restrictions), the bike/ped/motorcycle provisions, and a few other miscellaneous things.

The bill that has been moving forward in the Missouri House is the "small bill"--pared down to a minimum, in hopes of increasing its chances of passing the House. This Senate Bill 710, by contrast, is the "big bill", with most of the items on our wish list, including specific safe passing requirements, stronger penalties for unsafe drivers, shoulder and bike lane regulations, and "highest degree of care" provisions.

Read on for all the details . . .
As I understand the process, SB 710 has now been "perfected". There is still another vote in the Senate before it officially is passed and sent over to the House. Since the bill had enough votes to become perfected passing this final vote *should be* routine.

Some sections of the original proposed bike/ped motorcycle safety bill were watered down or removed. However, there is a LOT of really good stuff left:
  • Requires that motorists exercise the highest degree of care near bicyclists & motorists
  • Specifies that motorists must pass bicyclists & pedestrians safely; this is linked to assault/manslaughter provisions.
  • Makes it easier to convict drivers who hurt or kill others (including cyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists) of assault or manslaughter. Allows driving record to be introduced to help establish the driver's mental state.
  • Localities allowed/encouraged to double fines for speeding in school zones
  • Bike lane regulations
  • Clarifies legality of bicycle riding on road shoulders
  • Improves definition of bicycle to include tricycles (including recumbent tricycles)
  • Cautious rolling stop, yielding if necessary, is OK for bicyclists
Some provisions that were in the original proposed legislation were altered or removed:
  • Extra driver license points for school zone speeding removed
  • Operation of a vehicle causing injury/death removed
  • The original "The governing body of a county or municipality may establish a maximum speed limit within a school zone not to exceed twenty miles per hour" was replaced with "NOT LESS THAN 20 miles per hour".

    All in all, if this bill passes, we get quite a lot.

    Senators Bray, Dolan, and Goode were key in moving this legislation forward in the Senate.