Rep. Rubio Works to Make Roads Safer for Bicyclists
Santa Fe, NM – Today, a bill sponsored by Representative Angelica Rubio (D-Las Cruces) and Senator Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe) to ensure bicyclist safety passed the House Transportation, Public Works, and Capital Improvements Committee.
House Bill 192 is a public safety bill that establishes a minimum five-foot distance for motor vehicles passing a bicyclist. The bill adds a misdemeanor penalty of $25 for a violation of the minimum distance limit.
According to the Department of Transportation, from 2015 to 2018, 26 bicyclists were killed on New Mexico roads. Additionally, over 1,300 bicyclists were injured in crashes occurring between 2012 and 2016. Driver inattention and failure to yield, together, account for over 40 percent of the top contributing factors in bicycle-involved collisions.
“New Mexico’s outdoor economy is booming and attracting visitors from across the country. It’s vital that we protect the safety of bicyclists that enjoy traveling along our roads – including New Mexicans trying to get to and from school and work,” said Rep. Angelica Rubio. “Having bicycled from Las Cruces to Santa Fe, I know this legislation will make a real impact in the lives of bicyclists and ensure our safety.”
According to a National Conference of State Legislatures 2018 report, 32 states have enacted laws similar to HB 192 for motorists approaching a bicyclist.
House Bill 192 now heads to the House Judiciary Committee.