Bike Law Bryan reports on getting one step closer to including bicycling rights in Drivers’ Education.
By Bryan Waldman, Bike Law Michigan
As a bicycle accident lawyer in Michigan, I am thrilled to report that HB 5438, passed unanimously by the House, seeks to include information about bicycle and motorcycle laws in Michigan drivers’ education courses.
Yesterday, the Michigan House passed HB 5438, which would add information about bicycles and motorcycles and how they operate on Michigan roads to drivers’ education courses. The information would also emphasizing the importance of being aware of their presence on the road and how to act when encountering them. Specifically, the bill states in part that, “Classroom instruction shall include information concerning the laws pertaining to bicycles and motorcycles and shall emphasize awareness of their operation on the streets, roads, and highways of this state.”
During Lucinda Means Bicycle Advocacy Day on May 21, Michigan cyclists and their advocates requested a hearing on HB 5438. Not only did a hearing take place, but after testimony from the bicycling and motorcycling communities, the bill was voted out of committee and was sent to the house with over 74 co-sponsors.
This legislation is important for a number of reasons. As more individuals turn to bicycling as a means of transportation, drivers must become more cognizant and respectful of their presence, as bicyclists have an absolute right to use public roads in Michigan. Bicyclists must also be aware of the motorists they encounter, doing everything they can to make sure they too follow the rules of the road. The number of motorcyclists on the road is also increasing, as spring comes to a close and the summer months approach. Too often we hear stories about motorcyclists and bicyclists sustaining severe injury, or worse, because of motorists who fail to observe their surroundings before making their next move.
Including more information about bicycles and motorcycles and how they legally operate on Michigan streets in drivers’ education courses may also go a long way to combating the unwarranted stereotypes, hostility, and abuse both bicyclists and motorcyclists face while on the road.
The passage of HB 5438 is a major accomplishment and definitely a step in the right direction. We’ll continue to monitor this bill as it makes its way to the Senate.
This article, Bicycling Law could be included in Michigan Drivers’ Ed, was originally published on Bike Law on June 5, 2014.