Texas Governor Rick Perry affirmed his state's reputation as one of the country's most bike unfriendly places to ride today by vetoing a “safe passing” bill that would have given cyclist 3 feet when being passed by cars.
Perry, who is a cyclist himself, shocked the cycling community by vetoing the hard fought bill and saying:
"While I am in favor of measures that make our roads safer for everyone, this bill contradicts much of the current statute and places the liability and responsibility on the operator of a motor vehicle when encountering one of these vulnerable road users."
Its good to know that in Texas at least the responsibility to avoid 6000 pound SUV's and other cars rests with the cyclist on a 20 pound pound bike.
Reaction to the veto was immediate and not unexpected.
“We are stunned because he’s our guy, and we feel disappointed, even betrayed by our guy,” said Robin Stallings, executive director of BikeTexas, the educational arm of the Texas Bicycle Coalition.
Comments posted on some local Texas newspaper web sites are telling as to why the governor vetoed the law. For instance posted by Reality Kid:
"Guess I don't understand how bicycles have a right to be on a road.
They pay no road tax, they are not a motorized vehicle. Even golf carts
have to be registered to be on a road. Farm equipment which generally
move faster than bicycles have to have special triangle plaques on them
to be on a road.
Most bicyclist do not follow rules of the road by stopping at stop signs, they don't stop at traffic signals, they don't ride single file."
And posted by Batjeep: