The 2012 RI General Assembly has adjourned! Though our vulnerable road user bills never made it out of committee, the Assembly did pass “complete street bills” (H7352 Martin, S2131 DiPalma) that now have been transmitted to the Governor who has 2 weeks to decide what to do. The bills improve current law a bit by standardizing the complete street language, require a RIDOT report on implementation, but ultimately I think it is up to local groups familiar with local RIDOT projects to ensure compliance with the idea of making roadways properly serve bicyclists, pedestrians, as well as motor vehicles. I think thanks are due the sponsors (above) the AARP for being the primary advocate, and RIDOT for their cooperation in getting this passed.
The Assembly also passed legislation (H7467A) that ups penalties when hit-and-run drivers injure someone, it too has been transmitted to the Governor. However, a bill to up penalties (H7551) when a motorist driving thru a red light, or stop or yield sign at an intersection results in someone being injured or killed, passed the House and was recommended by the Senate Judiciary Committee. But it never made it to the Senate floor, even though they were up to after 3am at the last session. Similarly a bill to allow judges and magistrates to require ignition interlock devices in some drunk driving cases passed the House, but the Senate apparently made changes and never sent it back to the House. A Senate version passed but was never transmitted to the House. So it seems no progress on combatting DUI.
Wait ’til next year!