Early this year, the U.S. League of American Bicyclists adopted an “EQUALITY” statement, adding this as a sixth E to the traditional “Five Es” (engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement & evaluation/planning) in which bicycle friendliness is evaluated. The League’s policy is to promote equal legal status and equal treatment of cyclists in traffic law. All US states must adopt fair, equitable and uniform traffic laws, that are “vehicle-neutral” to the greatest extent possible. Cyclists’ ability to access to all destinations must be protected. State and local laws that discriminate against cyclists, or restrict their right to travel, or reduce their relative safety, must be repealed.
Discriminatory laws are on the books in most states that apply only to cyclists and to no other vehicles. In California, for example, CVC 21202 is the familiar “far to the right” law, when another law on the books (CVC 21654) already provides a “as far right as practicable” provision for all slow vehicles.
Other discriminatory laws that apply only to cyclists and no other slow vehicles include mandatory sidepath laws (13 states have this), mandatory shoulder use laws (5 states), mandatory bike lane laws (5 states, including California), and far to the right laws that apply only to cyclists (41 states, including California).
What do you think? Are “Far to the Right” laws discriminatory and should they be repealed? For some background, read California LCI Dan Gutierrez and Amanda Eichstaedt’s article promoting the Equality clause, and then read the discussion that follows discussion of the Woolley case in San Diego, in which bike lawyer Rick Bernardi believes “Far to the Right” citations are easier to fight than a Slow Moving Vehicle citation.