Bicycle Safety Legislation "a step in the right direction"

Rolla Daily News columnist and bicyclist Jaime Baranyai recently wrote:
So that's the bad news - that tragic accidents involving cyclists and motor vehicles happen. But there's also good news - that Missouri has new legislation in place to make the roads safer for cyclists. As a cyclist who's been passed too closely, even harassed, by those driving in cars or trucks, I'm very happy about the new legislation requiring motorists to pass cyclists at a safe distance. I'm also looking forward to other provisions in the legislation making the roads safer for cyclists.

The new legislation is definitely a step in the right direction, but it's going to take more than a law to make Missouri roads safer for cyclists. It's going to take better communication between motorists and cyclists, and it's going to take both groups making an effort before we see a change for the better. Not only do motorists and cyclists need to communicate with each other, they also need to respect each other.

Cyclists need to obey traffic laws just as if they were driving, be aware of cars and use signals to let drivers know what they're doing. Motorists need to give cyclists some courtesy by giving more room when passing, and having a little patience. I think most accidents involving motor vehicles and bicycles could probably be avoided if both groups took a little more time and effort to make the roads safer. . . .

I still love to ride despite the crash stories and sobering statistics, but I hope the roads do get safer with the new legislation. Thanks to everyone who worked to get the bill passed - hopefully cycling in Missouri will be safer.