New bill could help prevent car vs. bike accidents

 Posted By: Veronica Ortega

Last year dozens of car vs. bike accidents in Nebraska resulted in either injury or death.

This is why cycling advocates are urging lawmakers to increase bike safety on public roads.

A bill introduced by Sen. Rick Kolowski of Omaha would require motor vehicles to follow the same rules when passing a bike, as they would another vehicle. 

The bill states, cars would need to move left on a four-lane road and completely cross the center line on a two-way road. Cars wouldn’t be able to move into the right lane again until the vehicle is safely clear of the bicyclist.

The precaution would widen the gap between car drivers and bike riders.

“Public knowledge, public safety, and public action are the direct concepts of L-B 39,” says Sen. Rick Kolowski. “The centerpiece of this bill is the safety and security of all road users, throughout all of Nebraska.” 

Supporters of the bill say the new provision would strengthen the rights of bicyclists, making it easier for police officers to enforce, and drivers to remember.

The bill would overturn a 1968 law that says cyclists must use a bike path if one exists next to the road. The bill still needs to pass out of committee before it heads to the legislature for a vote.