Target: New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee
Goal: Ensure safety for all pedestrians and bicyclists, to encourage alternative transportation
Traffic laws and infrastructure in most of the United States tend to cater to automobile traffic. Many roads in our country do not have accompanying sidewalks for pedestrians to use, and many roads lack marked cross-walks. Cross-walks are the only place where pedestrians truly have legal protection, so it is important to pedestrian safety that cross-walks exist everywhere that there is foot-traffic. Bike paths are also often scarce, and most roads do not have space set aside for bicyclists to travel. This either endangers bicyclists who decide to ride in automobile traffic, slowing down traffic, or endangers pedestrians who share the sidewalk with bicyclists.
Laws that would encourage cycling as an alternative method of transportation are usually do not pass. Recently the anti-dooring bill was proposed in Virginia that would mandate drivers to exercise due caution around bicyclists, and would require them to keep a safe distance and not follow cyclists too closely, adding legal protection to bicyclists. This bill did not pass, however. Bicyclists also have no legal protection in the event that their bicycle is stolen. There is no equivalent to auto insurance available for bicyclists, yet another factor that discourages individuals from investing in a quality bicycle to use for transportation.
Encourage the Traffic Safety Committee in New York, and in your home state, to grant greater legal protection to pedestrians and bicyclists in order to encourage alternative transportation methods that are not only healthier for the environment, but are also healthier for the individual.
Dear New York State Traffic Safety Committee,
Please provide legal protection for bicyclists and pedestrians throughout the state of New York, and encourage the Governors of other U.S. states to implement similar laws. Pedestrians and bicyclists are not accommodated on many U.S. thoroughfares, many roads not accompanied by sidewalks or bike paths. Many roads also do not have a cross-walk, the only crossing area in which pedestrians are legally protected.
There are also laws lacking in the protection of bicyclists traveling with automobiles. Bicyclists should be protected by designated following distances for vehicles, and laws reminding automobile drivers to take proper care in sharing the road with bicyclists. Bicyclists also have no insurance protection offered over their bicycles equivalent to that of automobiles. Bicyclists deserve to be protected against theft or damage in the event of an accident just as automobile drivers are. The absence of such legal protections and accommodations deters individuals from walking or bicycling as a healthy, environmentally-conscious form of transportation. Please implement laws and protections that would encourage bicycling and pedestrian traveling.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Jason McHuff via Flickr