South Dakota legislators last week introduced House Bill 1073, which would remove the “substandard lane width” exception to the state’s “far right as practicable” law, and also require cyclists to stop, move off of the roadway, and dismount when followed by faster traffic.
Here’s the full text of this bill as introduced. Stricken language are parts of existing law that would be removed. Underlined text is an addition to the law.
FOR AN ACT ENTITLED, An Act to require persons operating bicycles under certain conditions to stop and allow faster vehicles to pass.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA:
Section 1. That § 32-20B-5 be amended to read:
32-20B-5. Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway. However, a person operating a bicycle may move from the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway to overtake and pass another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction, to prepare for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or roadway, or to avoid
conditions including, but not limited to,fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, or surface hazards , or substandard width lanes that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge. For purposes of this section, a “substandard width lane” is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.
If a person is operating a bicycle within a no passing zone on a roadway that has no shoulder or a shoulder of less than three feet in width, the person shall stop the bicycle, move the bicycle off the roadway, and allow a faster vehicle to pass.
A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.
Fully 11% of the South Dakota House of Representatives and nine percent of the state Senate are listed as co-sponsors of HB 1073. Click through to the bill information page for sponsor contact information, if you desire. The prime sponsor, 71-year-old Mike Verchio of Hill City in the Black Hills of South Dakota, chairs the state House Transportation Committee. Verchio consistently votes against state measures to improve safety for all road users (e.g. mobile device use while driving, safe passing laws, even youth restrictions on cell phone use while driving), and votes in favor of measures to decrease traffic safety (e.g. higher speed limits, especially interesting given where Verchio lives and presumably drives).
Best of luck to the South Dakota Bicycle Coalition in fighting this. I learned Monday morning that the state bicycle coalition has been defunct for some time. This guy in Sioux Falls is trying to get something going again.