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Testify in support of the Safe Passing Bill this Wednesday

Posted Mar 10 2009 4:05pm

The following information has been passed along to us from Rob D’Amico from the League of Bicycling Voters about this critical legislation.

The 2009 Safe Passing Act, Senate Bill SB 488 will be heard by the Texas State Senate Committee on Transportation & Homeland Security on Wednesday morning, March 11, 2009 in Hearing Room E1.016 in the Capitol Extension.

The bill includes the “3-feet clearance” provision for cars passing cyclists. It has also been expanded to address right and left hooks and harassment for a range of “vulnerable road users” including pedestrians, persons in wheelchairs, utility workers, motorcyclists and others on the road or roadside not in a protective steel vehicle shell.

What you can do to help

If you live in the Austin area or can easily travel to Austin, come to the hearing at 8:00 a.m. Please wear business attire including coat and tie for men. Even if you do not have a Senator on the committee who represents you, your presence is very important. RSVP to Mark Stine at  or 512-476-7433 is appreciated.  We also appreciate cc’s or forwards to Mark of email communication sent to and received by you from your Senator. BikeTexas has promised the Committee Chair to limit our testimony to four witnesses addressing four different aspects of the bill. In this way, we present this case effectively but succinctly so that limited Committee time is used wisely.

Contact your Senator

Click here to see which senator represents you. If you are represented by a State Senator who serves on the Transportation Committee, please call or email your Senator by Tuesday to ask for their “Yes” vote. If they already support SB 488, thank them. If they are uncertain on SB 488, urge them to vote “Yes”.  Communication should be direct and frank but should always be respectful. If you are not a constituent of any of these Senators, please do not contact their offices because it creates additional unnecessary staff work. They naturally place much higher value on contact from constituents.

If your State Senator is not on the Transportation Committee, please do not contact them yet. Your communication will be much more effective once the Safe Passing Bill has its language finalized, passes the Transportation Committee and goes to the full Senate.

The following Transportation Committee members are know to be supporting SB 488
John Carona, (chair and bill co-author) R-Dallas, Dist. 16
Kirk Watson, (vice-chair) D-Austin, Dist. 14
Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, Dist. 10
Rodney Ellis, (bill co-author) D-Houston, Dist. 13
Eliot Shapleigh, D-El Paso, Dist. 29
Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, Dist. 25

These senator’s support for SB 488 are uncertain
Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, Dist. 3
Joan Huffman, R-Houston, Dist. 17
Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, Dist. 8

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