Vulnerable Roadway User Hearing Scheduled



Vulnerable Roadway User Hearing Scheduled

By AkosSzoboszlay (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsThe House version of the Vulnerable Roadway User bill (H7463) has been scheduled hearing before the House Judiciary committee on Tuesday, Mar. 27 at the rise of the house (~4:30PM) in the House Lounge.  Anyone wishing to offer testimony on this bill can attend this meeting and speak.  If you are not able to attend, but wish to offer written testimony.

This version of the Vulnerable Roadway User bill defines a Vulnerable Road User as essentially anyone who is not inside a vehicle, but is using a roadway in a legal manner, including construction workers and police officers.  The bill sets out a set of responses for striking one of these classes of people without exercising due care to avoid a collision that causes injury or death.  The sentencing guidelines for this bill provide that a person found guilty will complete a traffic safety training, community service, temporary license suspension and a fine from $85 to $5,000.

RIBIKE thanks Representatives Tanzi, Handy, Martin, Winfield and Tomasso for sponsoring this bill.

1 Comment

  • barry
    Mar 28, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    I believe we made a good presentation at the hearing yesterday. The folks testifying included our sponsor Representative Tanzi, and members of the RI Bike Coalition, AARP, and the RI Sierra Club. Written statements of support were submitted for the American Lung Association, the Coalition for Transportation Choices, the League of American Bicyclists, the RI Committee on Occupational Health and Safety, and the Governor’s Commission on Disabilities. There was letter opposed from the Public Defender’s Office.

    At the start of the session, the Committee voted to hold all the bills for “further study” which is a standard practice. My sense from the Committee Chair, Rep. Ajello, is that she was open to eventually doing something about the issue. Later in the committee hearing, there was testimony from the RI motorcycle Association in support of a similar bill that ups penalties when a motorist committing a traffic infraction (for example, failure to yield or running a red light) kills or injures someone. They have the same concern, motorcyclists have been killed or injured with little consequence to the motorist, and we shared e-mails to start a process to see if we can help each other.

    We have to be prepared for a similar effort on the Senate side. Then the follow-up to action will involve working with the sponsors, the Committee chairs and perhaps others.