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  • Fri May 03 2024
  • Posted May 3

HF 2568 was signed into law today by Governor Kim Reynolds in a ceremony at the Iowa Statehouse. The bill was championed by the Iowa Bicycle Coalition, AARP Iowa, researchers at the University of Iowa Injury Prevention Research Center, and bike shops and clubs across Iowa. It extends critical protections to benefit everyone who uses crosswalks, including all forms of pedestrians, cyclists, and people using any other mobility device or personal conveyance. The legislation was championed in the Senate by Iowa Senator Mark Lofgren and in the House by Representative Thomas Gerhold.


Luke Hoffman, Executive Director of the Iowa Bicycle Coalition, said of the bill signing, “Whether you are out on the trails as a cyclist, a person with disabilities in a wheelchair, a senior citizen on an electric scooter, a kid on a skateboard, or a parent with a baby in a stroller, this legislation is a clear victory for all Iowans. We thank Governor Reynolds for signing this bill into law and making Iowa a safer place for everyone who uses our shared roadways and crosswalks.”Hoffman was joined by advocates, partners, and cyclists who are counting on this legislation to increase safety in their daily lives.


Senator Lofgren, who introduced the Crosswalk Protections bill in the Senate, said, “Serving as Chair of the Economic Development Budget Subcommittee for the Senate, I’ve heard many times over how entertainment and cultural events are so important to bringing people to visit and to live in our state. RAGBRAI is one of our more prominent Summer events that brings thousands of bicyclists into our state. This new layer of safety and accountability makes a strong statement that we are committed to ensuring safety for our residents and visitors to make Iowa the best place in the country to live, work and play.”


Representative Tom Gerhold, the House bill champion, said, “After working on this bill for a couple years, I am very happy it made it to the Governor’s desk and has now been signed into law. I am very hopeful these new crosswalk protections for folks using strollers, wheelchairs, bicycles, and other conveyances will save lives and prevent accidents in the future.”


HF 2568 was approved on April 10th 2024.

HF 2568 was signed into law on on May 3rd 2024.

The legislation will go into effect on July 1st, 2024.

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How does the new "Crosswalk Law" help cyclists?

The prior law (Section 1. Section 321.1, subsection 51, Code 2024) only stated that vehicles must yield the right of way to pedestrians. Pedestrians are defined as “any person afoot". As such, drivers of motor vehicles are not required to yield to bicyclists or other vulnerable road users (VRUs) in crosswalks.

With the old law's code, drivers might not face any legal repercussions when they kill or injure someone who is not on foot when using a crosswalk, leading to continued traffic violence and no justice or compensation for victims or their families.

The new code added a new subsection (51a) that includes verbiage to expand Pedestrian conveyance. Pedestrian conveyance means any human- powered device by which a pedestrian may move other than by walking or by which a pedestrian may move another person, including but not limited to a wheelchair, stroller, skateboard, scooter, or other similar device. Pedestrian conveyance" also includes an electric personal assistive mobility device and any other device used to move a person sitting or standing on the device regardless of whether the device is powered by an electric motor, so long as the electric motor produces less than seven hundred fifty watts. "Pedestrian conveyance - does not include a bicycle. Sec. 3. Section 321.1, subsection 90, paragraph a, Code 2024, is amended to read as follows: a. Any device moved by human power, including a low- speed electric bicycle and a pedestrian conveyance.

Also added was verbiage to "Yield the right-of-way to other pedestrians".

There were 885 crashes in Iowa involving vulnerable road users (bicycles, tricycles, unicycles, and pedal cars), wheelchairs, and other non-motorists in crosswalks from 2018-2023, so this new code verbiage add more protection for cyclists and other users while in a crosswalk.

Verbiage used from Iowa University's Transportation Research and Injury Prevention Safety Lab 2024 report on "Crosswalk Protections".


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Past "Crosswalk Law" News

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CONGRATS

Congratulations to all the organizations, legislators, researchers, advocates and vested citizens for making this law better for cyclists state-wide!

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