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The legislature has hit a stumbling block on the bicycle safety bill. House File 513 is a good bill that would require motorists to change lanes to pass bicyclists. HF 513 removes the option to use a reflector on a bicycle at night (but only requires bike lights at night). It is a good step for bicycle safety, but it is only one part of the strategy to reduce bicycle crashes.

There are two problems in the Iowa House. First, some legislators think changing lanes to pass bikes is too much. We need to convince them why this is a safe, consistent, and enforceable way to pass. Second, some legislators think motorists can’t see bicyclists. They have proposed an amendment to require any bicyclists using a road with a speed limit above 45 mph to wear an ANSI approved class 2 safety vest.While we want you to be safe and visible, making a law about wearing a vest is another matter. We need to make the case of why this is over-regulation.

I need you, along with everyone else in the bicycling community, to educate legislators about changing lanes to pass bikes. We need to be thoughtful and educational in our message and careful not to come off as angry.

Here is what I need you to do:

  • Tell the legislators how often unsafe passing is happening. I know you have a story or two about being passed so close it was unsafe. We need you tell about the times you were certain the driver saw you and passed dangerously.
  • Explain to the legislators how changing lanes is the safe, consistent, and enforceable way to pass bicyclists.
  • Say why reflective veststudies have shown "no statistically significant effect of hi-vison likelihood of being seen beforehand." (2014 Study)
  • Show why over regulating bicyclists could have an adversely effect the $364.8 million economic impact that bicycling has in Iowa.

Can you help me by sending an email to all members of the Iowa House and Senate? Can you tell your story about bicycle safety? Can you urge your cycling friends to do the same?

*** IOWA HOUSE SAMPLE EMAIL ***
COPY & PASTE HOUSE EMAIL BLOCK:john.wills@legis.iowa.gov, megan.jones@legis.iowa.gov, dan.huseman@legis.iowa.gov, skyler.wheeler@legis.iowa.gov, chuck.holz@legis.iowa.gov, jim.carlin@legis.iowa.gov, tedd.gassman@legis.iowa.gov, terry.baxter@legis.iowa.gov, helen.miller@legis.iowa.gov, mike.sexton@legis.iowa.gov, gary.worthan@legis.iowa.gov, brian.best@legis.iowa.gov, chris.hall@legis.iowa.gov, timothy.kacena@legis.iowa.gov, charlie.mcconkey@legis.iowa.gov, maryann.hanusa@legis.iowa.gov, matt.windschitl@legis.iowa.gov, steven.holt@legis.iowa.gov, ralph.watts@legis.iowa.gov, clel.baudler@legis.iowa.gov, tom.moore@legis.iowa.gov, greg.forristall@legis.iowa.gov, david.sieck@legis.iowa.gov, cecil.dolecheck@legis.iowa.gov, stan.gustafson@legis.iowa.gov, scott.ourth@legis.iowa.gov, joel.fry@legis.iowa.gov, greg.heartsill@legis.iowa.gov, wes.breckenridge@legis.iowa.gov, zach.nunn@legis.iowa.gov, rick.olson@legis.iowa.gov, ruthann.gaines@legis.iowa.gov, brian.meyer@legis.iowa.gov, bruce.hunter@legis.iowa.gov, ako.abdul-samad@legis.iowa.gov, marti.anderson@legis.iowa.gov, john.landon@legis.iowa.gov, kevin.koester@legis.iowa.gov, jake.highfill@legis.iowa.gov, john.forbes@legis.iowa.gov, jo.oldson@legis.iowa.gov, peter.cownie@legis.iowa.gov, chris.hagenow@legis.iowa.gov, rob.taylor@legis.iowa.gov, beth.wessel-kroeschell@legis.iowa.gov, lisa.heddens@legis.iowa.gov, chip.baltimore@legis.iowa.gov, rob.bacon@legis.iowa.gov, dave.deyoe@legis.iowa.gov, pat.grassley@legis.iowa.gov, jane.bloomingdale@legis.iowa.gov, todd.prichard@legis.iowa.gov, sharon.steckman@legis.iowa.gov, linda.upmeyer@legis.iowa.gov, michael.bergan@legis.iowa.gov, kristi.hager@legis.iowa.gov, shannon.lundgren@legis.iowa.gov, andy.mckean@legis.iowa.gov, bob.kressig@legis.iowa.gov, walt.rogers@legis.iowa.gov, timi.brown-powers@legis.iowa.gov, ras.smith@legis.iowa.gov, sandy.salmon@legis.iowa.gov, bruce.bearinger@legis.iowa.gov, liz.bennett@legis.iowa.gov, art.staed@legis.iowa.gov, ashley.hinson@legis.iowa.gov, ken.rizer@legis.iowa.gov, kirsten.running-marquardt@legis.iowa.gov, todd.taylor@legis.iowa.gov, mark.smith@legis.iowa.gov, dean.fisher@legis.iowa.gov, bobby.kaufmann@legis.iowa.gov, david.jacoby@legis.iowa.gov, dawn.pettengill@legis.iowa.gov, dave.maxwell@legis.iowa.gov, amy.nielsen@legis.iowa.gov, jarad.klein@legis.iowa.gov, guy.vander.linden@legis.iowa.gov, larry.sheets@legis.iowa.gov, mary.gaskill@legis.iowa.gov, curt.hanson@legis.iowa.gov, jerry.kearns@legis.iowa.gov, dave.heaton@legis.iowa.gov, vicki.lensing@legis.iowa.gov, mary.mascher@legis.iowa.gov, dennis.cohoon@legis.iowa.gov, david.kerr@legis.iowa.gov, monica.kurth@legis.iowa.gov, cindy.winckler@legis.iowa.gov, gary.carlson@legis.iowa.gov, ross.paustian@legis.iowa.gov, phyllis.thede@legis.iowa.gov, gary.mohr@legis.iowa.gov, louie.zumbach@legis.iowa.gov, lee.hein@legis.iowa.gov, norlin.mommsen@legis.iowa.gov, mary.wolfe@legis.iowa.gov, abby.finkenauer@legis.iowa.gov, charles.isenhart@legis.iowa.gov

SUBJECT: Please pass House File 513

Dear Representative:

Please support HF 513 on bicycle safety.

PUT THIS IN YOUR OWN WORDS, but here are some tips:

  • Write about the last time you were passed so close it was unsafe. If you were certain the driver in your story saw you, let them know that.
  • Roads are usually 10’ to 12’ wide. Most bicyclists are 2’ wide and ride at least 2’ to 3’ from the outside white line. The average SUV is 6.5’ wide. On a 10’ road, if the SUV driver gives 5’ passing distance they must move to the oncoming lane to pass. Five feet is difficult to judge in a moving vehicle. Changing lanes is easier.
  • Rather than an arbitrary distance, it is easier for motorists to change lanes to pass. It is also easier for students to learn safe passing in driver’s education. It is the same requirement for vehicles to pass other vehicles. It is also the same requirement in the 2012 move over law for first responders. Changing lanes is a safe and consistent way to pass.
  • In 2014, a New Zealand study discovered that Hi-Viz clothing had no effect on motorists crashes with bicyclists. The study stated motorists with poor observation, checking, and distractions were issues in crashes. The current bill would improve visibility of cyclists by requiring lights at night and other times of insufficient lighting situations like rain, snow, or fog.
  • Unusual regulations will reduce the number of people bicycling in Iowa. Less people bicycling has a direct impact to improve safety.
  • Unusual regulations will reduce the economic impact of bicycling in Iowa. Iowa bicycling produces $364.8 million in direct and indirect spending.
  • 75% of Iowans support this law according to a 2016 Iowa Poll.

Thank them for their service to Iowa.

Sincerely,

YOUR NAME
YOUR CITY


*** IOWA SENATE SAMPLE EMAIL ***
COPY & PASTE SENATE EMAIL BLOCK: david.johnson@legis.iowa.gov, randy.feenstra@legis.iowa.gov, bill.anderson@legis.iowa.gov, dennis.guth@legis.iowa.gov, tim.kraayenbrink@legis.iowa.gov, mark.segebart@legis.iowa.gov, rick.bertrand@legis.iowa.gov, dan.dawson@legis.iowa.gov, jason.schultz@legis.iowa.gov, jake.chapman@legis.iowa.gov, tom.shipley@legis.iowa.gov, mark.costello@legis.iowa.gov, julian.garrett@legis.iowa.gov, amy.sinclair@legis.iowa.gov, chaz.allen@legis.iowa.gov, nate.boulton@legis.iowa.gov, tony.bisignano@legis.iowa.gov, janet.petersen@legis.iowa.gov, jack.whitver@legis.iowa.gov, brad.zaun@legis.iowa.gov, matt.mccoy@legis.iowa.gov, charles.schneider@legis.iowa.gov, herman.quirmbach@legis.iowa.gov, jerry.behn@legis.iowa.gov, bill.dix@legis.iowa.gov, waylon.brown@legis.iowa.gov, amanda.ragan@legis.iowa.gov, michael.breitbach@legis.iowa.gov, tod.bowman@legis.iowa.gov, jeffdanielson@gmail.com, bill.dotzler@legis.iowa.gov, craig.johnson@legis.iowa.gov, rob.hogg@legis.iowa.gov, liz.mathis@legis.iowa.gov, wally.horn@legis.iowa.gov, jeff.edler@legis.iowa.gov, robert.dvorsky@legis.iowa.gov, tim.kapucian@legis.iowa.gov, kevin.kinney@legis.iowa.gov, ken.rozenboom@legis.iowa.gov, mark.chelgren@legis.iowa.gov, rich.taylor@legis.iowa.gov, joe.bolkcom@legis.iowa.gov, tom.greene@legis.iowa.gov, jim.lykam@legis.iowa.gov, mark.lofgren@legis.iowa.gov, roby.smith@legis.iowa.gov, dan.zumbach@legis.iowa.gov, rita.hart@legis.iowa.gov, pam.jochum@legis.iowa.gov

SUBJECT: Please pass Senate File 450

Dear Representative:

Please support SF 450 on bicycle safety.

PUT THIS IN YOUR OWN WORDS, but here are some tips:

  • Write about the last time you were passed so close it was unsafe. If you were certain the driver in your story saw you, let them know that.
  • Roads are usually 10’ to 12’ wide. Most bicyclists are 2’ wide and ride at least 2’ to 3’ from the outside white line. The average SUV is 6.5’ wide. On a 10’ road, if the SUV driver gives 5’ passing distance they must move to the oncoming lane to pass. Five feet is difficult to judge in a moving vehicle. Changing lanes is easier.
  • Rather than an arbitrary distance, it is easier for motorists to change lanes to pass. It is also easier for students to learn safe passing in driver’s education. It is the same requirement for vehicles to pass other vehicles. It is also the same requirement in the 2012 move over law for first responders. Changing lanes is a safe and consistent way to pass.
  • 75% of Iowans support this law according to a 2016 Iowa Poll.

Sincerely,

YOUR NAME
YOUR CITY


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