Safe passing of bicyclists bill in Missouri House Committee Feb 23rd

The proposal by Rep David Sater to update Missouri's current safe passing of bicyclists bill by adding the requirement that motorists pass bicyclists by a minimum of three feet, will be heard in the

House Transportation Committee at 12 noon on Tuesday, Feb 23rd, 2010.

The Bicycle Safety Bill sponsored by Rep. Mike Sutherland and supported by MoBikeFed in 2005 originally included a 3 foot minimum passing distance.  However, at the insistence of the insurance industry--who feared a specific, concrete legal requirement would lead to more claims against their customers--the specific three foot requirement was removed at that time.  

Missouri's current law simply states that motorists "shall leave a safe distance, when passing the bicycle, and shall maintain clearance until safely past the overtaken bicycle."

Most motorists already pass bicyclists with a distance greater than three feet.  However the addition of the three foot language to Missouri law would help clarify the issue of exactly what motorists are doing wrong when it comes to court cases--like the infamous Gaunt case, where the motorist neglected to pass safely and killed two bicyclists, but was not convicted of any traffic offense, or the recent case at the Kansas City airport where a driver who seriously injured a bicyclist received only a minor traffic citation.

If you'd like to contact members of the House Transportation Committee in support of HB 1250, here is the contact info:

Bob Dixon, Springfield, Chair: 573-751-9809, Fax: 573-526-8965, E-Mail:
Sally Faith, St Charles, Vice Chair: 573-751-1452, Fax: 573-526-0907, E-Mail: 
Nita Jane Ayres, Branson, 573-751-2492 , E-Mail: 
Charlie Denison, Springfield, 573-751-2210, E-Mail: 
Gary Dusenberg, Blue Springs, 573-751-1487, Fax: 573-526-2619, E-Mail: 
Joe Fallert, Ste. Genevieve, 573-751-7735, Fax: 573-522-2466, E-Mail: 
Jeanne Kirkton, Webster Groves, 573-751-1285, Fax: 573-522-9394, E-Mail: 
JC Kuessner, Eminence, 573-751-2112, Fax: 573-526-6856, E-Mail: 
Tom McDonald, Independence, 573-751-9851, Fax: E-Mail: 
Tim Meadows, Imperial, 573-751-1311, Fax: 573-751-5409, E-Mail: 
Brian Munzlinger, Williamstown, 573-751-7985, Fax: 573-522-3722, E-Mail: 
Ed Schieffer, Troy, 573-751-9459, Fax: 573-522-1459, E-Mail: 
Clint Tracy, Cape Girardeau, 573-751-1443, E-Mail: 
Maynard Wallace, Thornfield (Stone, Ozark, Taney, Howell counties), 573-751-2042, Fax: 573-526-0575, E-Mail: 

 * Please cc or bcc the bill's sponsor and me on your message:,

  Suggested message:  Please support SB 1250, which will help make Missouri's roads safer for everyone by clarifying the law about safe passing of bicyclists.  Please consider the simple changes to the text that will be proposed by the Missouri Bicycle & Pedestrian Federation.

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