South Dakota legislature to cyclists and pedestrians: “Wear bright colors!”

The South Dakota House and Senate passed a concurrent resolution by unanimous vote a couple of weeks ago encouraging cyclists and pedestrians to wear bright colors, and advising motorists to watch closely for pedestrians and cyclists.

South Dakota Concurrent Resolution 1011 a has no force of law, so it’s an easy, pain free way for legislators to claim they’re working on cycling safety. Maybe they can encourage motorcycle riders in Sturgis to wear bright colors and wave pinwheels for their next move to improve South Dakota road safety.

Found during my cross country tour of American legislative activity for 2013. House Concurrent Resolution 1011 is currently the only bill in the South Dakota legislature mentioning bicycles.

A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION, Encouraging pedestrians and bicyclists to wear brightly colored clothing when using a public highway and for motorists to watch for pedestrians and bicyclists.
WHEREAS, in 2010, 4,280 pedestrians and 620 bicyclists were killed nationwide in traffic accidents; and
WHEREAS, pedestrian and bicyclist deaths make up approximately fourteen percent of all traffic fatalities nationwide; and
WHEREAS, more South Dakotans are walking and bicycling to improve their health and are using public highways to do so; and
WHEREAS, on many South Dakota highways with little or no highway shoulders, the exposed nature of walking and bicycling to motor vehicle traffic is high; and
WHEREAS, nationwide twenty-five percent of bicycle deaths occurred between 9:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. and another twenty-two percent occurred between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.; and
WHEREAS, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests that pedestrians and bicyclists increase their visibility by wearing brightly colored clothing and placing reflective tape on their equipment or clothing; and
WHEREAS, educating pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists about how to safely share a public highway is more effective than enacting additional legislation:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the House of Representatives of the Eighty-Eighth Legislature of the State of South Dakota, the Senate concurring therein, in order to increase safety for pedestrians and bicyclists who use public highways in the state, that pedestrians and bicyclists be urged to wear brightly colored clothing and place reflective tape on their equipment when using public highways; and that motorists be advised to closely watch for pedestrians and bicyclists who are using public highways of the state.

4 Comments

  • Frank Proulx
    March 12, 2013 - 7:27 pm | Permalink

    I think they forgot the

    “; and
    WHEREAS, all residents of South Dakota must walk at some point in their day”

    that [all residents of South Dakota] be urged to wear brightly colored clothing and place reflective tape on [themselves at all times]…”

    But maybe I’m just too backward thinking.

  • March 13, 2013 - 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Ever been around a railroad? One of the things that “bugs” train photographers is that even when a steam locomotive is pulling a train of vintage cars, the crew, in many cases, will be wearing orange “safety vests” which spoil the illusion that the photo was taken in 1947. The encouragement to wear bright clothing when walking or bicycling, especially after dark should be taken as a reminder that our streets can be as hazardous as a railroad yard.

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  • Max Power
    March 13, 2013 - 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Reminds me of the episode of the Simpsons when Bart gets trapped in a well. At the end they “make sure this never happens again…” Then you see Willie adding a caution sign in front of the well, saying “That’ll do it”

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