Vulnerable Roadway User – Update



Vulnerable Roadway User – Update

Thanks to the four hearty souls who managed to hold out until it was our turn to talk at the hearing!  By the time we were finished with testimony, it was 8:30pm!

If you were one of the other people who had to leave, you can email the committee with a written testimony and it will be considered.   You should reference H5865 in the subject and body of the email and explicitly state that you support passage of the bill.  We would encourage you to do this ASAP, as it’s not clear when they will be discussing the legislation in the committee.

We still have a senate hearing coming up and will let everyone know once we have information on the date and time.


  • MattM
    Mar 31, 2011 at 5:19 am

    Thanks for hanging in there for the full duration. Sorry I had to leave early, but I had expected the hearing to be over much earlier and made plans for later in the evening.

  • Mar 31, 2011 at 5:47 am

    Me either… I never expected to be at the State House until 8:30pm! The chair actually took some pitty on us at one point and moved the bill up in the schedule. She must have looked out, recognized there was a handful of people whom she didn't recognize and asked if we wanted to testify. I think we could well have been there for another hour had she not done this.

    Matt, I would definitely encourage you to submit some written testimony… you certainly earned it after sitting through the first two bills that were heard 😉

  • barry
    Apr 1, 2011 at 6:34 am

    while I am reading this in France, I want to thank all those who testified or worked on publicity for this bill. When I get back – ca April 15 I will do what I can

    Did the Coalition for Transportation choices help us?


  • MattyCiii
    Apr 4, 2011 at 9:38 am

    I sent them a letter (via e-mail). I wanted to testify in person, but ran out of time.

  • mattm
    Apr 4, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    I just sent in a support as well on behalf of the NBW

  • Apr 5, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Perhaps we should add buildings to the list of vulnerable road "users". What's with all these motorists driving into buildings? People question why we need legislation to protect non-motorized roadway users, imagine what could have happened if there was a person anywhere near this building. Yes, it was an accident, but it doesn't change the fact that any person hit by car is seriously injured.

  • MattyCiii
    Apr 13, 2011 at 4:36 pm


    "Yes, it was an accident, but it doesn’t change the fact that any person hit by car is seriously injured."

    We should stop calling these incidents "accidents" and start calling them "negligents".

    Recently I was driving, and felt tired. I quickly got off the road, found a parking lot, stopped and – guess what – slept. This was mid day but hell I'm pretty frazzled lately. My point? I could have pressed on. Maybe I would have made it – or maybe, I would have fallen asleep at the wheel, and killed myself or others.

    "What happened?"

    "I don't know, one minute I was driving then suddenly I'm here in this ditch. What's with all those body bags?"

    The Constitutional presumption of "innocence until proven guilty" was written in a time when people moved swiftly only by horse. Horses try to avoid hitting things even when their rider is drunk or asleep. Cars don't.

    It's high time this nation takes a stand for "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". Life is first on that list for a reason. My right to life trumps Joe-SUV-owner's right to his pursuit of happiness, if that "happiness" is defined – as it is for so many drivers – as "consequence-free negligence". In the case of a motor vehicle hitting an object, there should be a presumption of culpability for the driver, unless an investigation proves there is preponderance of evidence that mechanical failure was the primary causal factor. Loss of driving privilege must be automatic – let a judge decide if it is 1 year, 5 years or life-long. Negligent drivers become cyclists. Oh the irony!

    One small step we can take is to stop calling them "accidents". Unless that building suddenly jumped in front of the car.

  • MattM
    Apr 14, 2011 at 4:33 am

    @MattyCii – I absolutely agree that the term "accident" should be used much more sparingly, and only after accident reconstruction has verified that the "collision" was not avoidable.

    I disagree with the idea that presumption of innocence needing to be rethought to account for new technologies. In no way do I want a car driver put in jail under the presumption of guilt because they've hit someone until there has been proper investigation to determine that the driver was negligent, careless, at fault, etc. Denying that right in one sphere would very likely have knock on effects in others. The problem isn't assignment of guilt, the problem is convincing the Police and prosecutors that everyone who causes harm to another should have to face the consequences and that a person driving a car isn't automatically in the right, and anyone walking/biking/etc are not behaving in a risky way and giving up their rights to "life, liberty and pursuit of happiness".

  • Dennis
    Apr 14, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    1. Good idea. "Incident" or "alleged accident" might work better.

    2. How about the convicted driver having a suspended license until they complete 100 miles of bicycling?

    3. Again, we need to encourage the adoption of equal terms. A "car" doesn't hit a "cyclist". There's a "driver" in there.