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Michigan House Bill Would Require Motorists To Give Wide Berth To Bikes

Mar 22, 2018

Bicyclist in Traffic
Credit Pixabay / pixabay.com

The state House has approved a bill to require vehicles to keep a distance of at least three feet when passing bicyclists. 


The legislation is largely a response to a fatal accident two years ago near Kalamazoo. 

Five bicyclists were killed and four injured when a truck plowed into the group cycling in Cooper Township.  That same year, the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning says 38 bicyclists died in crashes.

“We’ve had a lot of bike accidents, and we want to make sure people are safe on the road,” said state Representative Holly Hughes (R-Montague). 

But Hughes says it’s been difficult to get an agreement on exactly how much distance vehicles should keep from bikes.  She says 39 states have a variety of standards.  Her bill would make crowding a bicyclist a civil infraction with a penalty of fines and three points added to a driving record.

The bill now goes to the state Senate, which is also considering a bill to require a five-foot gap between vehicles and bicycles.

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— Rick Pluta is the Managing Editor and Reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org