Contact House Transportation and
Infrastructure Committee Members Today!
Legislation to enact a statewide 5-foot passing law is at a critical impasse in the House and we need your help! A specified distance (5-feet) could be stripped out of the legislation (or worse) if we don’t speak up now. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will discuss HB 4265 on January 16, 2018, so please ACT NOW and help encourage as many cyclists across the state to engage. Please
1) Sign this NEW action alert (as of 1/12/18) to email the members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. After signing, you will be redirected and provided a script to call and post the social media pages of key committee members.
2) Share this action with your friends and loved ones.
We only have a short window to make an impact, please be sure take action today! Background info and the latest update as of 1/12/18 is below.
Your calls and emails are making an impact, thank you! However, there is a new urgency to put the pressure on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and Committee Chairman Cole.
Since we launched this call to action, we have heard conflicting possibilities of what revised safe passing legislation could look like. The special workgroup is to present their findings to the entire House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Tuesday, January 16. LMB is hearing various reports on what the final workgroup recommendation will be, ranging from altering our 5-foot legislation to make it 3-feet, to stripping the bill entirely of a specified distance, to alarming discussions that could attempt to strip bicyclists of existing protections and poison the legislation entirely. Please call, email, and post to the social media pages of key committee members to let them know the cycling community expects and deserves a strong safe passing bill to pass out of committee soon.
Because reports are changing quickly, we need to double down on our stance and make sure our voice is heard. Here are next steps you can take:
2) If you signed the Action Alert but did not make phone calls or post to the social media pages of key committee members, please take a minute to do so. Personal calls go a long way! If you reach a staff person or a voicemail, please be sure to leave a message. You can use this feature to be patched through to Chairman Cole and key members of the Committe and post to their Twitter and Facebook Pages. You can also dial the numbers below manually if you prefer.
Chairman Triston Cole: (517) 373-0829
Vice Chairman Michael Webber: (517) 373-1773
Rep. Julie Alexander: (517) 373-1795
Rep. Jeff Noble: (517) 373-3816
Rep. John Chirkun: (517) 373-5911
Rep. Leslie Love (517) 373-0857
Please personalize this sample script when making your calls:
Hello, my name is (YOUR NAME) and I am calling in support of HB 4265, a bill to establish a safe passing law in Michigan for bicyclists. This legislation is vital to safeguard the lives of bicyclists in my community. To keep bicyclists safe, this legislation needs to specifically define the minimum distance to pass bicyclists, ideally 5 feet. I believe this is important because (PLEASE INCLUDE A PERSONAL STORY). Please help prevent more needless tragedies on Michigan roadways by enacting the strongest safe passing law possible by retaining a specified distance in the bill. Thank you for your leadership on this important issue!
3) Please help us get as many calls and emails out by sharing this Action Alert with your friends, loved ones, and fellow bicyclists.
If you have not yet signed the Action Alert above, please do ASAP! If you are interested in attending the upcoming Committee Hearing, scheduled for Tuesday, January 16 in Lansing, please contact LMB. We will confirm the meeting's time and agenda and contact interested individuals as soon as information is available.
Legislation to enact a statewide 5-foot passing law is in danger in the House and we need your help! A specified distance (5-feet) could be stripped out (or worse) of the legislation if we don't speak up now.
BACKGROUND: In November 2017 the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee heard testimony on HB 4265, legislation to enact a statewide 5-foot passing law. After hearing powerful testimony from advocates, victims, and organizational partners, Chairman Triston Cole announced that he was forming a five-member legislative workgroup to discuss the bills in more detail. LMB was invited to participate in the workgroup and prepared recommendations on behalf of the bicycling community to add to the discussion when the workgroup met in December.
Despite clear support from the bill sponsors, LMB, and others to keep a defined distance within the legislation, the workgroup is likely to recommend the elimination of "five feet" as the defined safe distance as outlined in the original legislation and instead endorse general language that states drivers "shall pass at a safe distance to the left of that bicycle at a safe speed..."
Additionally, the workgroup concluded business after two meetings, before discussing numerous suggestions offered by LMB to improve the legislation. For this reason, we are urging Chariman Cole to continue the dialog on a safe passing bill that provides a specific distance and fully considers opportunities to strengthen the bill.
“I’m worried about working on passing good policy. Good policy always comes first,” stated Chairman Cole in an interview with Guy Gordon on WJR on 1-3-18, LMB does not believe that eliminating a specific distance from the bill is not good policy.
In 2016, 38 cyclists were killed on Michigan roads and another 2,000 were injured. This was nearly double over the previous year. 2017 proved to be yet another tragic year for Michigan cyclists. Michigan is only one of eleven states without a law on how to safely pass bicyclists. Currently, 30 states have safe passing laws with specified distances, while only nine have general safe passing language. Instead of following the lead of these nine states who opted for generic passing laws, Michigan is in a unique position to become a national leader on this important public safety issue and ultimately prevent more needless tragedies on Michigan roadways. We are asking Chairman Cole for his continued consideration and leadership on this issue to ensure Michigan enacts the strongest safe passing law possible.