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San Antonio Bicyclists Urge Passage of Safe-Passing Ordinance

In San Antonio drivers who hit bicyclists or pedestrians are seldom ticketed or arrested. The injured party is often severely injured or killed while the at-fault driver is left to explain that it was just an accident. Accidents do not normally happen without some active negligence. A two-ton motor-vehicle or a 20 ton semi-truck traveling at highway speeds is going to cause massive injuries to vulnerable road users if they do not pass with a sufficient safe distance between them.

The Texas Governor vetoed a bill that would have required motor-vehicles to give other vulnerable users of our roads and highways a sufficient clear safe passing buffer. With that veto the San Antonio City Council has been debating a City Ordinance that would require a safe passing clearance of at least three feet for cars and 6 feet for trucks. This safe passing distance would be applied to all vulnerable users such as: pedestrians, bicyclists, wheel chairs, and road workers.

If passed the ordinance is not expected to eliminate all accidents and injuries to bicyclists and other vulnerable users; however, it may reduce the number of accidents making our streets friendlier for cyclists. We are in favor of a safe passing ordinance if it is coupled with a marketing push to inform San Antonio drivers of the ordinance. The effectiveness of the ordinance would be enhanced if the other metropolitan areas and not just San Antonio passed similar ordinances to protect cyclists throughout Texas.