LANSING, Mich. —Sen. John Proos voted yes on bills passed by the Michigan Senate on Thursday designed to prevent deaths and injury to vulnerable roadway users.
Senate Bills 1076, 1077, and 1078 were sponsored by Sens. Margaret O’Brien and David Knezek and would require that drivers education in the state of Michigan include instruction regarding on how to safely share the road with bicyclists.
The bipartisan package of bills would also update traffic laws to create a five-foot passing rule, which would require drivers passing a bicyclist to pass at a safe distance of at least five feet to the left of the bicycle.
“We must do all we can to ensure our streets are safe for bicyclists and others who are legally using the roadway,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “These measures put important safety guidelines in place to help prevent another tragedy, such as occurred in Kalamazoo.”
Last June, a motorist in Kalamazoo struck nine bicyclists, killing five and injuring four.
“Most importantly, we are hoping to ensure that this type of tragedy never occurs again,” Proos said. “Secondly, these bills give us a chance to improve each of our own communities by making them safer and more accessible by bicycle or on foot.”
SBs 1076 – 1078 would:
- Require that a driver passing a bicycle in the same direction pass at a distance of at least five feet to the left of that bicycle;
- Require bicycles while being overtaken to take a position as far to the right as practicable; and
- Require three or more hours of education on the laws pertaining to bicycles and motorcycles and emphasize awareness of their operation.
The bills have been referred to the Michigan House for further consideration.