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Governor signs bill to increase safety for cyclists

By Staff | Jul 19, 2018

KAHULUI – Hawaii Gov. David Ige recently signed House Bill 2215. This “Safe Passing Three-Foot” Law requires that motorists provide a minimum of three feet of separation when passing a bicyclist.

Thirty-six states and Washington, D.C., already have a Safe Passing Law to help make roads safer for cyclists and all road users.

This law directly addresses one of the biggest hazards to cyclists; according to the League of American Bicyclists, 44 percent of cyclist fatalities result from being struck from behind or sideswiped.

The law is a direct result of a huge advocacy effort led by the Hawaii Bicycling League, Oahu’s oldest and largest cycling organization with an active chapter on Maui.

Over 300 individuals and partner organizations submitted testimony in support of the bill or attended the hearing to speak in person.

“The passage of this bill highlights our commitment to ensuring that cyclists are safe on our roads, and that Hawaii becomes a more bicycle-friendly community. I am happy to sign this bill and make Hawaii the 37th state in the nation to make this commitment,” said Gov. Ige during the signing ceremony on June 20.

The new law amended the existing Hawaii Revised Statutes 291c-43, which already required safe passing. The law now specifically states that three feet is the minimum safe passing distance when a motorist overtakes or passes a bicyclist.

“We are very excited about this news and grateful for support from our partners, the community and especially for HBL for leading the tremendous effort,” said Saman Dias, co-founder and chair of Maui Bicycling League.

“This is a big step towards creating a more bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly Maui and ensuring that all users feel safe on our roads.” n

Visit Maui Bicycling League’s website at Mauibike.org or Facebook page to learn more about advocacy, events and membership.

The mission of Maui Bicycling League is to create a pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly community – one that encourages people to take up bicycling and supports those who currently ride.