Latest Action Alert from People for Bikes, H.3909

IMPORTANT!!!! H.3909 Update and Senate vote

Contact your Senator by following this link and ask for their support in this important Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety Act…

by Amy Johnson Ely on April 13, 2016 in Advocacy, Enforcement, PCC News, Safety
Latest Action Alert from People for Bikes, H.3909

Vote was postponed (again), but it will likely be this week (Tues – Thurs, May 3 – 5, 2016)

Status in State Legislature:

The Dylan P. Mitchell Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Act passed the House in 2015, and it has passed the Senate Transportation Committee. The full Senate will vote on the committee report soon. It was held up briefly while our State House team has worked with several Senators on a friendly amendment. See the latest Action Alert on this bill so you can help us by contacting your Senator.

Current Bill:

The bill’s primary purpose is to improve the safety of those walking and biking in SC. It requires motorists to stop for pedestrians in non-signalized crosswalks, provides more appropriate penalties when a bicyclist or pedestrian is killed or seriously injured in the Right of Way, updates pedestrian control signal law, defines a bike lane, and defines electric bikes. Details of each section are:

Amends the crosswalk law so drivers of vehicles must stop for pedestrians, when the pedestrian is crossing the roadway within a crosswalk and when traffic-control signals are not in place or not in operation. (Intact)
Our bill, as passed by the House, added penalties for a driver killing or seriously injuring a bicyclist or pedestrian (and other vulnerable road users), in the absence of “due care”. When the bill emerged from the Senate Transportation Committee, some changes were made. And now, the Senate version is up for consideration by the full Senate. We are working with several Senators to offer an alternative amendment, which could change the lever for instituting stricter penalties from failure to provide “due care” to failure to provide “right of way”, which is a clearer threshold and occurs more often. We may lose the 6 month license suspension, but the bill could be strengthened with the “right of way” threshold AND could now require two (not 1) of the following: (1) pay a monetary penalty of not more than two thousand dollars, or (2) serve a period of incarceration which may not exceed thirty days, or both; and (3) participate in a motor vehicle accident prevention course, or (4) perform community service for a number of hours to be determined by the court, which may not exceed two hundred hours, or both. “Vulnerable Road Users” would also be defined in the new amendment, to include bicyclists, pedestrians, and those operating wheelchairs and personal assistive mobility devices. (Amending)
Amends/updates our special pedestrian control signals law so they’re further defined to include walk and wait symbols, in addition to the words “walk” or “wait”. Further, for pedestrian crosswalks equipped with countdown indicators, pedestrians may cross if they can complete the crossing in the remaining time shown. (Intact)
Defines a bicycle lane as designated through pavement markings and signs, intended for exclusive use by bicyclists. (Altered)
Excludes low speed electric-assist bicycles from the moped regulation bill moving through SC House now. Defines low speed electric-assist bicycles, also known as bicycles with helper motors, according to the League endorsed definition, specifically the Consumer Product Safety Commission definition: 2 or 3-wheeled vehicles, each having fully operable pedals and an electric motor of no more than 750 watts, or one horsepower, whose maximum speed on a paved level surface, when powered solely by such motor while ridden by an operator weighing one-hundred-seventy pounds, is no more than twenty miles per hour. Further, make them subject to all the rights and duties of bicycles, as described in Section 56-5-3420 (PCC’s 2007 bike law updates). (Intact)