Richmond, VA--Five bicycle safety bills were defeated in Virginia's General Assembly Monday; now, bike riders are concerned that Richmond won't be prepared for an international bike show, slated to come to the are in 2015.
Bicyclists called the bills that died Tuesday "no-brainers," and can't understand why they did not advance.
"I'm very disappointed, because they are very sensible, non-partisan bills," says local bicyclist Amy George.
Amy is very familiar with the dangers bikers face when they hit the road alongside cars and trucks.
"I was actually doored myself on Cary Street, and was throuwn across two lanes of traffic. Fortunately for me, I wasn't more badly injured."
"Dooring" is when a car driver doesn't look behind them for bikes before opening their door, making it easy for cyclists to crash right into them. A bill to make dooring illegal was also killed.
One of the failed bills, Senate Bill 1060, originally included bikes on the list of vehicles that cannot be tailgated. Of 11 fatal bicycle accidents last year, eight of the cyclists were hit from behind.
"Richmond is a great place to ride a bike," says Amy, "we just really need to have that protection, that legal status afforded to us that other vehicle have."
One of the delegates who voted against the bill was Delegate Manoli Loupassi. 8News asked him why he voted against the bike safety measures.
Del. Loupassi told us that the bill had changed significantly by the time it got to him, by only one word: instead of making it illegal for a motor vehicle to follow another vehicle including bikes, the revised bill didn't contain the word "motor." This would have meant simply that bikes couldn't follow other bikes.
Stay with 8News for updates.
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