Bike passing rule gets first vote at Lafayette Council

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – A Lafayette ordinance that would require drivers to pass bicyclists with at least three feet of space got a unanimous endorsement from the city council on first reading Monday night.

“We couldn’t be happier with the result of the vote,” said Bicycle Lafayette founder Aaron Madrid. “This means that the city is supporting the improvement of the city’s facilities and empowerment of cyclists on the road.”

The proposal would match one that took effect last summer in West Lafayette.

As News 18 reported last week, West Lafayette had not issued a single citation to a driver for passing too closely.

Lafayette Police Chief Patrick said the proposal is intended to be more than educational. If it passes a second vote scheduled for next month, he anticipates enforcing the rule with citations when appropriate.

“Tickets are never the preferred option in any encounter, but we also know that tickets are often the only tool that we have to affect change in behavior,” said Flannelly.

Officials say this is intended to be educational for cyclists as well.

According to a California bicycle coalition, in collisions involving motorists and bicyclists, about half the time motorists are at fault and about half the time bicyclists are at fault.

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