Passing a Vulnerable Road User Bill in RI

14

May

Passing a Vulnerable Road User Bill in RI

Establishing offenses for harming or killing someone walking, biking, or riding a scooter won’t end road violence in Rhode Island, but it does pave the way for an inclusive future that accounts for EVERYONE using our streets.

The Rhode Island Senate Judiciary committee heard S596 on April 9. S596, or the Vulnerable Road User bill, which defines and establishes offenses for harming or killing a vulnerable road user(someone walking, riding a bike, scooter, wheelchair, highway worker, etc) when a motorist “fails to exercise due care to avoid colliding with a vulnerable road user causing injury, serious injury, or death to the vulnerable road user.” Advocates waited hours to testify in support of the bill.  And while no opposition was heard either from those testifying or Senate Judiciary committee members, S596 was held in committee.

Now, the real challenge: getting S596 to the Senate floor.

While no strong opposition exists, there is also no pressure to get S596 out of committee and to the floor for a vote. This is where you can help.

Senators are considering now what bills they will bring out of committee and to the floor for a vote. We need your voice to help make that happen. Call your state Senator and ask them to support S596. Or write to them. You can use the sample letter below or write your own.

Dear Senator [SENATOR NAME],

I am writing to you in support for the Vulnerable Road User bill S596.  S596 creates an offense and penalties when a motorist “fails to exercise due care to avoid colliding with a vulnerable road user causing injury, serious injury, or death to the vulnerable road user.”
 
Passing this bill would call attention to promoting the safety of all vulnerable road users now and in training of people who drive in the future. It can also provide a sense of justice for victims of careless driving.
 
Thank you for your support.
[NAME]
[Address]
[OPTIONAL:Phone Number]

Who to Contact

In addtion to contacting your senator (instructions below), we also ask you contact the Senate Judiciary commitee as well (and if you only contact one, please contact the Chairperson!):

Legislator Appointment E-mail
  Senator Erin Lynch Prata   Chairperson    sen-lynchprata@rilegislature.gov
  Senator Stephen R. Archambault   Vice Chairperson    sen-archambault@rilegislature.gov
  Senator Harold M. Metts   Secretary    sen-metts@rilegislature.gov
  Senator Cynthia A. Coyne   Member    sen-coyne@rilegislature.gov
  Senator Jessica de la Cruz   Member    sen-delacruz@rilegislature.gov
  Senator Dawn Euer   Member    sen-euer@rilegislature.gov
  Senator Frank S. Lombardi   Member    sen-lombardi@rilegislature.gov
  Senator Mark P. McKenney   Member    sen-mckenney@rilegislature.gov
  Senator Leonidas P. Raptakis   Member    sen-raptakis@rilegislature.gov

Who is my State Senator?

We’ve done some leg work so you don’t have to:

  1. Go to https://vote.sos.ri.gov/
  2. Click on “Find your Elected Officials”
  3. Enter the required information and click “continue”

You’ll be presented with a page that lists all of your elected officials, including your “Senator in General Assembly”. To email your senator, simply replace “lastname” in the email address below:

sen-lastname@rilegislature.gov

Finding contact information is hard. If you’d prefer to call, Common Cause has a great resource for finding the phone number for your RI State Senator. Scroll down the list for your “RI State Senate District” Senator and call the number listed.