Iowa Bicycle Coalition pushes for new law

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG TV9)-- Cyclists say sharing the road with drivers can sometimes be dangerous.

Photo courtesy: MGN

So, many are pushing for a bill that would require drivers to move over a lane when passing a cyclist.

"Especially living downtown like this, parking is a problem. So biking makes it easy to get around campus," University of Iowa Sophomore Isabella Von Harz said.

Von Harz said she had to dodge a few accidents while on campus.
So she's in favor of any extra safety precautions.

"I live down College Street and there's a lot of one ways. So when I come home there's been times I've slammed on the brakes and I thought they saw me but they didn't," she said.

The bill aims to lower the number of bicycle-involved crashes each year. And it's why the the Iowa Bicycle Coalition continues to push for the bill.

"We're going to continue to work on this through the legislature, it's not something were giving up on," Executive Director Mark Wyatt said.

A similar bill failed last year.

This year's bill passed through a House Committee, and is waiting for debate on the House Floor. The coalition says its cautiously optimistic this year.

"Bicycling happens across the state, in urban areas or rural areas," Wyatt said.

The penalty for not moving over lanes would be similar to unsafe passing of a motor vehicle. The coalition says it's not concerned about fines or punishment, but rather changing a mindset around bicycling.

"We want to try to save something that we can teach in drivers ed because that's really what's going to save lives,' Wyatt said.

Critics of this bill say in urban areas, street space is limited and speed limits are low so this isn't a necessary law.