Join the Iowa Bicycle Coalition and support change lanes to pass bicycles.
Today is the final day of 2015 to join the Iowa Bicycle Coalition. Bicycling needs your support more than ever. A year-end donation can help us with our work.
Our top focus in 2016 is providing clear language in the Iowa Code requiring motorists to change lanes when passing bicyclists. The Iowa Code requires motorists to pass on the opposite side of the road until safely past any vehicles, including bicyclists. It was clear enough that the Iowa Bicycle Coalition was able to convince the Iowa DOT to change the Iowa Driver’s Manual to read “Pass bicycles like you would any vehicle. Change lanes to pass.” It seems very easy to learn, teach, and enforce.
Matt Phippen was passed by a motorist in rural Vinton. Witnesses and the driver, agreed the driver passed Matt in a no passing zone. Yet, the judge ruled in the favor of the driver. Magistrate Vander Mey wrote, “To find the Defendant guilty, given all the facts and circumstances in this case, would make the rights of cyclists paramount to the rights of those who drive motor vehicles, would not be fair, and would be contrary to the law in this State as understood by the undersigned.”
We disagree. We feel the lives of cyclists (or anyone traveling Iowa roads) are paramount to the rights of motor vehicles. We are stepping up our work on a legislative proposal making it clear to everyone that you cannot pass a bicyclist on the same side of an unmarked road or within the marked travel lane.
It is going to take a lot of work to fix Iowa’s safe passing laws. We need people willing to write letters to the editor, contact their legislators, spread the word on social media, and make a donation to support the safe passing campaign. You can make a difference right now with your membership or donation to the Iowa Bicycle Coalition.