By Bill Sizemore
© February 12, 2010
How cars and bicycles share the road has become a concern of some Virginia lawmakers.
After hearing testimony that 11 bicyclists were killed in crashes with cars last year, the House Transportation Committee approved a bill this morning to increase the required clearance when passing a bicycle from 2 to 3 feet.
The bill, HB1048, sponsored by Del. Kaye Kory, D-Fairfax County, drew support from bicyclist groups, Drive Smart Virginia, Fairfax County and Virginia Beach.
The closeness of the vote, 11-9, signals that the measure has an uncertain future on the House floor.
Some panel members noted that with a typical travel-lane width of 11 feet and a typical vehicle width of 8 feet, a 3-foot passing clearance doesn’t leave much margin for error.
One committee member, Del. Barry Knight, R-Virginia Beach, suggested that “bicyclists ought to police themselves.”