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Oklahoma House Bill 2926: Oklahoma Passes Strong New Bike Law

Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry signed a powerful new bicycle law on Friday, May 19.

The law:
1. Re-defines 'bicycle' for the purposes of the state's vehicle code, eliminating restricting wheel sizes and configurations
2. Eliminates confusing language as to where bicyclists should ride on the road
3. Eliminates the state mandate to ride on sidepaths/sidewalks
4. Eliminates the mandatory side light requirement for bicycles (not reflection)
5. Establishes a minimum safe-passing distance of three feet and sets up fines (in addition to other citations and penalties for manslaughter, improper use of a motor vehicle, etc.) for a motorist who injures or kills a cyclist.

Oklahoma is now the third state to have a safe-passing law and the second to back it up with specific fines. Arizona and Utah are the other states with safe-passing laws, with Arizona having specific fines. Advocates in other states can now use Oklahoma's law for legal precedence to aid them in their work. The law was passed with the help of a strong push from the Oklahoma Bicycle Coalition.
 

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Frank121 said:
Oklahoma House Bill 2926: Oklahoma Passes Strong New Bike Law

Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry signed a powerful new bicycle law on Friday, May 19.

The law:
...
5. Establishes a minimum safe-passing distance of three feet and sets up fines (in addition to other citations and penalties for manslaughter, improper use of a motor vehicle, etc.) for a motorist who injures or kills a cyclist.

Oklahoma is now the third state to have a safe-passing law and the second to back it up with specific fines...
I think "safe passing law" refers to the fact that the law stipulates a specific minimum distance at which a vehicle is allowed to pass a cyclist. Good on Oklahoma for passing this law. Every little bit helps.
 

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That law sounds thorough and well thought out. I object to the elimination of the side lighting requirement, however. Most bicyclists don't even have front and rear lights, and hardly anyone thinks about side lighting, so I'm sure the law was intended to decriminalize normal behavior. I still think night-cyclists would be much safer with side lighting. Cars too. Everyone's noticed (and appreciated) the side-mounted turn indicators on recent European cars, right?
 

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Run1stBike2nd said:
I think "safe passing law" refers to the fact that the law stipulates a specific minimum distance at which a vehicle is allowed to pass a cyclist. Good on Oklahoma for passing this law. Every little bit helps.
If that is the case then Virginia also has that law. Although here in VA they only give you two feet clearance.
 

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rule said:
Yep...hopefully it will filter down to Austin, which would not support a safe-passing bill last year. Way to go Okies! :thumbsup:

Really??? I feel that's pretty surprising since I see so many more cyclists in Austin than I do in DFW. The drivers in Austin seem to be more tolerant of cyclists too.

C'mon Texas. Make Lance proud. If they want USCF HQ to relocate to Austin, then the state legis needs to start brown-nosing us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Text of the bill

ENROLLED HOUSE
BILL NO. 2926 By: Tibbs, Terrill, Lamons and Nance of the House

and

Reynolds of the Senate


An Act relating to motor vehicles; amending 47 O.S. 2001, Section 1-104, as last amended by Section 1, Chapter 521, O.S.L. 2004 (47 O.S. Supp. 2005, Section 1-104), which relates to bicycles, electric-assisted bicycle, and motorized bicycle; modifying certain definition; providing an exception; amending 47 O.S. 2001, Section 11-1205, as last amended by Section 15, Chapter 521, O.S.L. 2004 (47 O.S. Supp. 2005, Section 11-1205), which relates to operation of bicycles and play vehicles; modifying roadway requirement for bicycles or motorized scooters; deleting path restriction; providing guidelines for overtaking and passing bicycles; providing administrative penalties when injury or death occurs; amending 47 O.S. 2001, Sections 751, as last amended by Section 2, Chapter 189, O.S.L. 2005, 752, as last amended by Section 15, Chapter 394, O.S.L. 2005, 753, 756, and 759, as last amended by Section 1 of Enrolled House Bill No. 2154 of the 2nd Session of the 50th Oklahoma Legislature, (47 O.S. Supp. 2005, Sections 751 and 752), which relate to implied consent, administration of tests, refusal to submit to testing, admission of evidence, and Board of Tests for Alcohol and Drug Influence; providing for concentration or presence of certain substances to be tested; repealing Section 78, Chapter 411, O.S.L. 2003 (47 O.S. Supp. 2005, Section 12-705), which relates to bicycles; providing for codification; providing an effective date; and declaring an emergency.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA:

SECTION 1. AMENDATORY 47 O.S. 2001, Section 1-104, as last amended by Section 1, Chapter 521, O.S.L. 2004 (47 O.S. Supp. 2005, Section 1-104), is amended to read as follows:

Section 1-104. Bicycle, Electric-assisted Bicycle, and Motorized Bicycle.

A. A bicycle is any a device upon which any person or persons may ride, propelled solely by human power upon which any person or persons may ride, having a seat or saddle for the use of each rider and:

1. On a bicycle, two tandem wheels, either of which is twenty (20) inches or more in diameter;

2. On a tricycle, three wheels in any configuration, of which at least one is twenty (20) inches or more in diameter; or

3. On a quadcycle, four wheels in any configuration, of which at least two are twenty (20) inches or more in diameter.

The wheel diameter provisions of this subsection shall not apply to recumbent bicycles through a belt, chain, or gears, and having two or more wheels, excluding mopeds.

B. An electric-assisted bicycle is any bicycle with:

1. Two or three wheels; and

2. Fully operative pedals for human propulsion and equipped with an electric motor:

a. with a power output not to exceed one thousand (1,000) watts,

b. incapable of propelling the device at a speed of more than twenty (20) miles per hour on level ground, and

c. incapable of further increasing the speed of the device when human power alone is used to propel the device at a speed of twenty (20) miles per hour or more.

An electric-assisted bicycle shall meet the requirements of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards as set forth in federal regulations and shall operate in such a manner that the electric motor disengages or ceases to function when the brakes are applied.

C. A motorized bicycle is any bicycle having:

1. Fully operative pedals for propulsion by human power;

2. An automatic transmission; and

3. A combustion engine with a piston or rotor displacement of fifty cubic centimeters (50 cu cm) or less, regardless of the number of chambers in the engine, which is capable of propelling the bicycle at a maximum design speed of not more than thirty (30) miles per hour on level ground.

D. As used in this title, the term "bicycle" shall include tricycles, quadcycles, or similar human-powered devices, electric-assisted bicycles, and motorized bicycles unless otherwise specifically indicated.

SECTION 2. AMENDATORY 47 O.S. 2001, Section 11-1205, as last amended by Section 15, Chapter 521, O.S.L. 2004 (47 O.S. Supp. 2005, Section 11-1205), is amended to read as follows:

Section 11-1205. A. Every person operating a bicycle or motorized scooter 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 near close as practicable is safe to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except under any of the following situations:

1. When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction;

2. When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway;

3. When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions and while exercising due care, including but not limited to:

a. fixed or moving objects,

b. parked or moving vehicles,

c. pedestrians or animals,

d. surface hazards, or

e. any time it is unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway; and

4. When riding in the right-turn-only lane.

B. Any person riding a bicycle or motorized scooter upon a one-way street or highway with two or more marked lanes of travel may ride as near close as practicable is safe to the left-hand curb or edge of the street or highway.

C. No person operating a bicycle or motorized scooter shall pass other vehicles between lanes of traffic traveling in the same direction.

D. Persons riding bicycles or motorized scooters upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles or motorized scooters. Persons riding two abreast shall not impede the normal and reasonable flow of traffic and, on a laned roadway, shall ridge ride within a single lane.

E. Wherever a usable path for bicycles or motorized scooters has been provided adjacent to a roadway, bicycle or motorized scooter riders shall use the path and shall not use the roadway if required by local, municipal or county ordinances.

SECTION 3. NEW LAW A new section of law to be codified in the Oklahoma Statutes as Section 11-1208 of Title 47, unless there is created a duplication in numbering, reads as follows:

A. When overtaking and passing a bicycle proceeding in the same direction, a person driving a motor vehicle shall exercise due care by leaving a safe distance between the motor vehicle and the bicycle of not less than three (3) feet until the motor vehicle is safely past the overtaken bicycle.

B. If a person violates the provisions of subsection A of this section and the violation results in a collision causing serious physical injury to another person, the person shall be subject to a fine of not more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00).

C. If a person violates the provisions of subsection A of this section and the violation results in the death of another person, the person shall be subject to a fine of not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), in addition to any other penalties prescribed by law.
 
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