There Ought to Be A Law
He’s in Delaware County, which I think is far away, and the contest winner will likely be from his constituents for best effect (Historian, you on here still? you have any contacts there?), but that doesn’t mean the legal eagles on here couldn’t give it a college try.
So what would benefit cyclists the most? My initial thoughts:
1) law requiring retesting for license renewal (paper at least, practical at best), maybe requiring a little more from people with DUIs or similar issues.
2) law allowing local LEOs to use radar to enforce their speed limits
3) law simplifying the process of putting bike lanes on state roads (there’s some liability issue that other states have solved and we haven’t yet)
4) law requiring testing (breath/blood) for any accident involving injuries (thanks Kathi!)
There outta be enforcement of the laws we have, maybe something could be done about that. Maybe a law mandating that fines/fees be tied to cost of living increases since enactment (rather than freezing the old 1976 or whenever amounts).
Anybody have any other ideas? Anybody want to craft something?
Drug testing when injuries involved makes sense.
Lots of places used a “if it bleeds you pee” policy for work related injuries, I don’t see how operating a car should be different.
the difference is when law enforcement officers are giving the tests, they have to comply with the 4th amendment. it’s unclear to me that, for example, getting hit by a car provides probable cause.
I see your point HV but I’m hoping there’s a way to sort it out. Hitting a cyclist at night (or in the wee smalls of the morning) could be probable cause but in Dr Varacallo’s case no test was administered. If anything it could help clarify what happened (cyclist was sober, driver was drunk, driver was sober, cyclist was drunk, everybody was drunk or sober – information can’t clear the air if it’s not known).
I’m clearly not the person to draft legislation, but I’m pretty sure someone smarter than me could sort it out. (that’s why I posted here, to see what yinz guys say, and what I could learn )
I have a friend from Delaware county, its near Philadelphia, and he would participate in this if you need a constituent behind the law. He actually worked as Congressman Ron Paul’s intern this summer, so government and law is kind of his thing. I guess I will stay tuned to see if there are any ideas that garner a lot of attention.
thanks mphm, that’s awesome. I’m hoping we can come up with something really nice – we have in other discussions, but typically it’s more pie in the sky. I figure this could be a great opportunity to get the rubber meeting the road, so to speak. I think I shoulda named the thread something like “free beer” though.
#2 is a bill(s) currently in various Commonwealth Legislative committees.
sloaps – does that mean it’s one of hundreds that will sit being good ideas on paper? or that it’s on its way and is only a matter of time? I’m sketchier on state law making than on national law making.
There are companion bills allowing locals to employ electronic speed timing devices, have the devices inspected, receive revenue from tickets, etc.
It could sit in committee for a while, unless there’s a concerted effort to draw it out for a vote on the floor.
Part of a concerted effort to get a law out, of course, is mentioning how much you want the law in a context like this.
This is one that a politician would like to avoid voting on. “Yes! I want anger all the voters who want to drive faster” vs “No! I want to anger all the parents whose kids were killed by speeders.”
I think there’s space for that on his little application form – who would support the bill. MADD would go for the testing for every accident one. PA Walks & Bikes might go for some, I’m sure there are other groups that could see themselves benefiting, if presented in the right light.
How about an overhaul to the drivers license process to always test applicants on bike / pedestrian safety issues and questions about distracted driving issues such as cell phone / gps / other device usage as part of the written test. Education before enforcement.
Seriously, getting a driver’s license in PA was so damn easy for me. I wasn’t even required to parallel park and there were only a handful of questions (mostly with totally obvious answers).
I would also advocate mandatory re-testing every 5 years for at least the Q&A portion of the drivers test and a quick summary of new traffic laws (esp. related to bike / pedestrian safety) included with every auto registration renewal form.
The panel suggested registration every two years, cutting paperwork in half and saving the state $5 million a year. If driver’s licenses were valid for eight years instead of four, as proposed, the state would save $500,000 a year.
The panel also suggested that cars under two years old be exempted from state inspections, saving drivers $24 million, and that the little stickers that affix to license plates be eliminated, saving the state $1 million.
Good luck out there!
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