Bike Bill Requires 3ft From Drivers - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Bike Bill Requires 3ft From Drivers

A new bill could mean new rules for Texas drivers.  House Bill 2459 states that drivers would have to give pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists three feet when passing or turning.

HB 2459 was heard on Thursday morning in the Texas House Transportation Committee and is for "unprotected road users".

Newschannel 6 reached out to Wichita Falls cyclists who are supporters of this bill and say, this bill is essential.

“At this point, I'm excited with three feet, anything is better than zero feet.  We're just waiting to see whether or not Governor Greg Abbott ratifies that bill," said cyclist, Les Akins.

 In February of 2015, Akins was hit by a driver and thrown from his bike.

“I'm actually just getting back on the bike.  It's been about 10 weeks of rehabilitation.  I'm still in a lot of pain, but frankly just happy to still be alive.  I feel very fortunate and very blessed," said Akins.

Akins hopes that HB 2459 will raise awareness.

“When we're on these bikes and these vehicles pass by us really closely, the wind from that vehicle can actually knock us around and it's quite traumatic, so the three feet rule is a really nice complimentary legislation," said Akins.

Midwestern State University cyclist, Jake Lanoux agrees with Akins.

“You feel like you give a lot of room, but with those mirrors it can kind of creep up on you, so the 3 feet rule is definitely something that a lot of the majorities of cyclists here are looking forward to.  The more room the better honestly," said Lanoux.

Wichita Falls Cycling Club President, Brad Altman said the same.

“It does give us a little bit of a safety margin within vehicles out there, especially with a lot of these roads that we're riding bikes on.  It's a family that they're affecting when they pass within three feet of a cyclist or a pedestrian," said Altman.

HB 2459 is co-authored by Texas Representative (District 69) James Frank.  If this bill were to pass, a violation would be a Class B Misdemeanor.

The next step for HB 2459 is for it to be voted on by the House Transportation Committee.

Taylor Barnes, Newschannel 6

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