Saturday, January 10, 2015


Not too much to ask...
(image borrowed from Biking Bis blog)
For the first official post of 2015 I'm asking that all (3) of you that faithfully read this blog to e-mail your state senator regarding bill HB1030.  What is HB1030 you ask?  The short answer it requires motorists give a 3 foot berth from the furthest point on the right of their vehicle (mirrors, cattle catchers, jousting poles, machine guns, what ever is on the right side of their vehicle) and the furthest point left of the cyclist (typically handle bar, but could be extended middle finger).

A blog out of Sioux Falls called The MinusCar Project wrote this up yesterday that gives the complete skinny on what HB1030 is all about.

It’s officially official. HB 1030 is a bicycle related bill that will work its way through the South Dakota Legislature this winter. Riders will want to pay attention to this bill. When laws are scrutinized anything can happen to them. Additions, deletions, omissions. The last time a bicycle bill was in the legislature South Dakota was close to becoming the first state in the union to legislate cyclist wardrobe – and that was on a 3 foot passing bill.

This year HB 1030 is mostly a 3 foot passing bill. Notably this bill seems to have originated with the Department of Transportation. My sense is a change to law recommended by state staff is more likely to be successful.

Part I

The bill will introduce a new section into the books that reads:

“The driver of any motor vehicle overtaking a bicycle proceeding in the same direction shall allow a three foot separation between the right side of the driver's vehicle, including any mirror or other projection, and the left side of the bicycle. The driver of the motor vehicle shall maintain that separation until safely past the overtaken bicycle. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.”

I’m pretty ok with adding this into law. I do recommend adding the word MINIMUM in the sentence “shall allow a three foot separation.” Many riders say 3 feet isn’t enough and adding this word implies more is better.

Part II

The bill will amend an existing law. The bold portion indicates the amendment:

A person operating a bicycle shall give a continuous signal of intention to turn right or left during the last one hundred feet traveled by the bicycle before turning. The signal shall also be given while the bicycle is stopped waiting to turn. A signal by hand and arm need only be given intermittently if the hand is needed in the control operation of the bicycle. No driver of a bicycle may overtake another vehicle on the right if the overtaken vehicle is signaling to make a right turn.

I am always happy to point out the most dangerous place to ride is to the right of a right turning vehicle. How do you know vehicle is turning right? You don’t. This amendment would make it illegal to ride to the right of a right turn signaling vehicle. I say don’t ride to the right of any vehicle.

I’m neutral on this amendment while pointing out my personal standards are more strict than this amendment would require.


So write your state representatives. Get them early. They don’t start real work till Monday. Tell them this weekend what you think of HB 1030. Surprise them by showing them you care.

Find your reps now!!!

You can find your representative by going to the "Who are my legislators" page on the SD State Legislature website.

As was stated in the MinusCar post, the state legislators don't start real work until Monday, so let's flood their inboxes with support for HB1030 (with some minor adjustments).  Even if you're a casual cyclist, this law impacts you!  Take 5 minutes to show them that you care!
3 is still pretty close when a car is traveling over 35 mph.
(image borrowed from Biking Bis blog, where they've been
enjoying their 3 foot rule since 2011)

That is all.  Please proceed with your normal weekend shenanigans.

UPDATE:  I already e-mailed my state legislators and have received a reply from Senator Craig Tieszen.

Here's my e-mail: 

I am e-mailing you regarding HB1030 the Bicycle Passing Act. I am a cyclist, a business owner in Rapid City, a registered voter in your district, and your neighbor Sen. Tieszen. I ride my bike past your house and have said hello to you many time when you've been outside.

I ask that you please ensure the passage of HB1030, with a minor change. Line 7 reads "allow a three foot separation between the right side of the driver's vehicle, including any mirror" . I would like to see this changed to read; "allow a minimum three foot separation between the right side of the driver's vehicle, including any mirror".

As a bicycle commuter, I follow the rules of the road, stopping at stop signs, signaling my directional changes, and riding as far to the right as safely possible and yet have had more than my share of close calls. This bill isn't much to ask of our fellow motorized commuters.

Thank you for supporting this bill. My safety and the safety of all cyclists, children through adult, thank you. 

And Sen. Tieszen's response.

I believe I have supported a previous attempt and probably will be able to do so again. Thanks for contacting me. I am looking forward to bike riding weather again!!!! Senator Craig Tieszen

Contact your legislators folks!