We are sorry to report that our Vulnerable Road Users Bill was effectively killed Friday by the Joint Committee on Transportation. The committee voted to send the bill “to study”, which puts it in a limbo from which it is unlikely to emerge. While the outlook is not good for moving the bill forward in this session, we did nonetheless make progress:
- We rallied widespread support from the biking and walking communities, demonstrating to legislators that we are a political force.
- We succeeded in generating a great deal of awareness about the dangers faced by bicyclists and pedestrians from motorists.
- We got valuable feedback that helped us revise the bill to make it more likely to pass.
- And we won support from new friends in the Legislature and other advocacy groups.
While disappointing, what happened to the bill is not surprising. Even successful bills, like our 2009 Bicyclist Safety Act, usually take multiple sessions of advocacy before passing. (That one took four legislative sessions, a total of eight years.) With the level of interest we generated in this session, the bill will be well-positioned, with a better chance of passing, when we re-file it next January.
Many thanks to everyone who responded to our Action Alerts on the bill over the last 17 months, and told their personal stories to demonstrate the need for this bill. Thanks also to everyone who attended our Bike/Walk Summit and met with their legislators. And thanks to Representatives Sean Garballey, Kay Khan, and Carl Sciortino, and Senator Will Brownsberger, for sponsoring the bill. We know you will all be there when we need your help next time! And we will get this bill passed!