SDDOT Offers Added Safety for Non-Motorized Transport with HB 1030 and HB 1032

by Tony Helland

South Dakota Department of Transportation is aiming to make non-motorized travelers safer with a couple of early proposals to this year’s legislature. HB 1030 and 1032 are great steps when it comes to giving more power to pedestrians and cyclists.

In regards to pedestrians, HB 1032 offers added safety for pedestrian crossings. This bill revises certain regulations when it comes to clearly marked or regular crossing areas. The bill seeks to instruct drivers to come to a full stop when a visible pedestrian has the intent to cross the roadway; rather than merely yielding the right of way. Automobiles, as the bill reads, must also remain stopped until the pedestrian has crossed completely. “The driver of any vehicle upon a highway within a business or residence district shall yield the right-of-way to shall bring the vehicle to a complete stop for a pedestrian crossing the highway entering or within any clearly marked crosswalk or any regular pedestrian crossing…”

HB 1032 makes sense for safer shared roads. It makes perfectly clear that in the area of cars and those on foot, the pedestrian should be given the right of way! It also upgrades the penalty for violation from a petty offense to a Class 2 misdemeanor.

For bicyclists, the Department of Transportation proposes HB 1030. This bill will codify some common sense rules to autos sharing the road with cyclists, namely the “three-foot rule.” The bill states, “The driver of any motor vehicle overtaking a bicycle proceeding in the same direction shall allow a three foot separation between the right side of the driver’s vehicle, including any mirror or other projection, and the left side of the bicycle.” This language makes it apparent that bicycles belong on the road and should be afforded their space as equal transport. For the bicyclists, HB 1030 mandates that clear and continuous hand signals be used “during the last 100 feet traveled by the bicycle before turning.” It also requires that bicyclists not pass autos on the right when the car or truck is clearly signaling a right turn. These are “no-brainers” that are unfortunately not always followed. Let’s face it, if you’re a cyclist on the roadway, you need to stay visible and make clear your intentions. HB 1030 penalizes any violation of this Act with a Class 2 misdemeanor. 

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