New bicycle laws for 2008

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Sunday, December 30, 2007
By Yokota Fritz

Happy New Year, all! Here's an overview of new laws that take effect this effect that may impact bicyclists.

A new DUI law mandates 10 days of jail time and drivers license suspension for a first time offender.

California: The legal requirement for night cyclists to use a headlight, rear reflector and side reflectors has been clarified to include cyclists on on sidewalks and paths. California law has also been updated to allow the use of reflective ankle straps or reflective shoes instead of reflective pedals.

A new three-foot passing law takes effect January 1. Motorists will be required to give at least three feet of room when passing a cyclist.

New Mexico:
Mandatory helmet law comes into effect for children and teens 17 years of age and younger.

Oregon: The Vulnerable Roadway Users law enhances the penalties against motorists who injure or kill pedestrians and cyclists.


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Here in Brazil the law establishes that car must be about 5 feet away. Now, ask me if they obey?
I'm a bit perplexed by the new IL bike law. On the one hand, Springfield's heart is in the right place. But on the other, the 3 ft. rule is clearly unworkable on many of the streets here in the City of Big Shoulders.

The law also encourages bikers to travel as far right as is practical. This I think is pure idiocy since it takes us out of the center of the lane at stop lights where we can see and be seen best.
Actually, the revised Illinois law says practicable and safe. For years, the Illinois statute said as far right as practicable. The words "and safe" were added to the statute to provide exceptions and provide flexibility, according to the League of Illinois Bicyclists.
I consistently get buzzed by police officers which leads me to doubt that this law will be taken seriously.

Cops. [Huh.] What are they good for? [Absolutely nothing.] Say it again...
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