If you’ve been following this blog for a while, then you’ve read about the work Lori DiBiasio has done in promoting Frank’s Law. We just received word that the RI General Assembly now has official designated this H5074 for consideration. In particular, it would require:
31-15-18. Keeping a three foot passing distance when passing a bicycle. — (a) A
person operating a motor vehicle, when approaching a bicyclist, shall insure the safety and
protection of the bicyclist by leaving a reasonable and prudent distance between the vehicle and the bicycle. A three foot (3′) passing distance between the motor vehicle and passing bicycle shall be deemed to be reasonable and prudent. When impossible to achieve the three foot (3′) passing distance, then the vehicle shall reduce its speed to ten (10) to twenty (20) miles per hour below the posted speed limit.
A failure to keep a three foot (3′) passing distance when passing a bicycle would carry an $85 fine. While the fine is likely to be a marginal deterrent, hopefully, having a law on the books like this would allow for the RI Attorney General to prosecute cases where cyclists are struck by automobiles.
Now would be a good time to contact your reprentatives and suggest they support this bill.