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House Bill Would Require Motorists To Give Wide Berth To Bikes

Lansing Bike Party photo
Katie Cook

The state House has approved a bill to require vehicles to keep a distance of at least three feet when passing bicyclists.

As we hear from Capital Bureau Chief Rick Pluta, it’s a response to a fatal accident two years ago near Kalamazoo.

Five bicyclists were killed and four injured when a truck plowed into the group. That same year, the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning says 38 bicyclists died in crashes.

State Representative Holly Hughes.

“Well, we’ve had a lot of bike accidents." Says Hughes. "And we want to make sure people are safe on the road.”

But Hughes says it’s been difficult to get an agreement on exactly how much distance vehicles should keep from bikes. She says 39 states have a variety of standards.

The bill now goes to the state Senate.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.
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