In mid April, HB 145 was introduced for a 2nd time to become a statewide law for motorists to give at least a minimum of 3ft safe passing clearance when approaching a person on a bike. Currently, Toledo, Cincinnati, and Cleveland have passed ‘safe passing’ bills so having this passed will create uniformity. Ohio will also be added to the list of 21 other states that have ‘safe passing’ laws.
I organized a ride from Paradise Garage to the Statehouse prior to hearing testimony. About 10-12 folks showed up and we had a diverse representation of advocates for this bill. I left the hearing not feeling all that confident. While, it was easily discernible that some legislators were in agreeance of the bill, others were asking questions that had absolutely nothing to do with the safe passing of a person on a bike. I felt that they were making a mountain out of molehill about how to actually enforce this. We’d be naive to think that there’d be 100% enforcement of this law. It’s about principal and the fact that more and more people are choosing alternate ways to move about the city. Clearly, in a car when you’re passing another car, you pass with enough clearance – it’s the same thing with the bike. When you try to convince ppl who live and die by the car, its an uphill battle b/c they turn into rocket science when its simple driver / biker etiquette.
I’ll keep you posted about the outcome of the bill. Let’s hope we’re added to the list of states that understand that biking is just another piece to the transportation mix.
Be safe and keep riding