HB 232 commissioned a study of our state’s traffic laws concerning bicyclists. Over the past few months, a working group of 12 stakeholders developed recommendations that were recently released. Many of their recommendations help to keep cyclists safe, but I don’t think they go far enough.
Last year in North Carolina, 664 cyclists were hit by vehicles, 19 of whom were killed. With some small changes in the law, this number could be significantly lowered.
One of the most effective ways to lower the number of collisions would be to grant cyclists Vulnerable Road User Protection. This refers to G.S. 20-154 a1 and a2, which currently provides steep fines for drivers who cause collisions involving motorcycles.
Cyclists deserve to be added to this statute. They are similar in stature and exposure to motorcyclists and are likely to be involved in collisions because drivers fail to see them.