PeopleForBikes’ 2021 Mid-Year Legislative Recap

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A quick update on pro-bike policies from across the U.S.

Every year, PeopleForBikes monitors more than 200 state legislative bills to track the national bicycling landscape and quickly rally our supporters to back proposed improvements that could benefit bike riding in areas like infrastructure, funding, incentives and safety regulations.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic required many legislatures to adjust their sessions to accommodate virtual settings, many pro-bike bills across the U.S. still progressed through the legislative process. A few recent examples of these bills can be found below.

Model electric bicycle legislation: These bills define electric bicycles using the three-class system, establish rules of the road similar to human-powered bicycles and exempt electric bicycles from the registration, licensing or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles. Model electric bicycle legislation was passed in Alabama (HB 99), Iowa (HF 493), Minnesota (HF 10), Missouri (SB 176), Mississippi (HB 1195), Nevada (SB 369), North Dakota (HB 1148) and Vermont (SB 66) this year.

Safe passing: These bills typically require the driver of a vehicle to provide at least three feet of space when passing a bicycle traveling the same direction on a roadway. Safe passing laws were passed in North Dakota (HB 1290) and Georgia (HB 353) this year.

Idaho stop: These bills typically allow bike riders to treat a stop sign as a yield sign and a red light as a stop sign in certain situations. Idaho stop laws were passed in North Dakota (HB 1252), Oklahoma (HB 1770) and Utah (HB 142) this year.

Vulnerable users: These bills typically help protect vulnerable road users, such as bike riders and pedestrians, by establishing fines that discourage and punish careless driving. A vulnerable users law was passed in Maryland (HB 118) this year.

Sustainable Transportation: This legislation supports decreasing the transportation sector’s greenhouse gas emissions by investing in bicycle infrastructure and electric alternatives to combustion vehicles. Sustainable transportation laws were passed in Colorado (SB 260) and Washington (HB 1091) this year.

PeopleForBikes works diligently to track bills at all levels of government that improve bike riding and support bike businesses nationwide. Check out our policy finder to stay up to date on what we’re currently tracking and sign up for our newsletter to receive an alert when a pro-bike policy is proposed in your area. Any additional questions? Contact PeopleForBikes Regulatory and Policy Analyst Ashley Seaward at ashley@peopleforbikes.org for more information.

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