UPDATE! We have just received the very happy news that Senator Miller will not pursue passage of SB 468, preferring instead to work with Georgia Bikes on the implementation of a Complete Streets policy over the remainder of this and into the next legislative session.
Many thanks to the Senator for his willingness to work with us to protect the rights and safety of all of Georgia’s road users!
As you’ve probably heard by now, the state Senate introduced a bill last week, SB 468, that would have required single-file riding.
Georgia Bikes responded immediately, working to draft revised language with the bill’s author, Senator Butch Miller. Georgia Bikes representatives sat in on and testified at the Senate’s Transportation Committee hearing on the bill last Thursday afternoon. At this hearing, a revised bill was approved, which was a definite improvement over the original version.Senator Miller has been very cooperative and appreciative of the good-faith efforts to work with him on improving this bill and making sure it maintains the safety of all road users.
Here’s a summary of the law on two abreast riding in GA, including the original and amended versions of the Senate Bill 468:
Current Georgia Law [40-6-294(c)]
Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on bicycle paths, bicycle lanes, parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles, or when a special event permit issued by a local governing authority permits riding more than two abreast.
SB 468 as originally introduced Tuesday 2/22 changed [40-6-294(c)] to the following:
Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall ride single file except on bicycle paths, bicycle lanes, parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles, or when a special event permit issued by a local governing authority permits riding more than single file.
Amended version approved by the Senate Transportation Committee:
Persons riding bicycles upon a two lane roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on bicycle paths, bicycle lanes, parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles, or when a special event permit issued by a local governing authority permits more than two abreast. Persons riding bicycles and electric assisted bicycles shall not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic and on a laned roadway shall ride within a single lane.
Current amended version of the bill: http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/20112012/122773.pdf
Georgia Bikes worked closely with Senator Miller to reach a mutually agreeable amendment to the bill. The amended language mirrored the law in many states, including:
We are closely monitoring the Georgia General Assembly to ensure that cyclist’s rights are protected. Watch this blog or our Facebook and Twitter accounts for future updates on this and other issues of importance to Georgia’s cycling community.
And…don’t forget to publicly show your support for bicycling at the 2012 Ride to the Capitol, March 27th! When you register for the Ride, please consider making a donation to support our ability to monitor and respond to issues like SB 468. Keeping eyes and ears on state government isn’t free, and it is only through your donations that we can continue the important work of advocating for cyclist safety! If you cannot join us for the Ride to the Capitol, please consider joining our Sustainers Circle, an easy and convenient way to support statewide bicycle advocacy and education.
* map of US two-abreast laws courtesy of Bob Mionske’s blog on Bicycling.com