On Oct. 17, the D.C. Council passed the Bicycle Safety Amendment Act of 2013. It was then signed by Mayor Vince Gray and will be submitted to Congress for a 30-day legislative review.
You can read about the law at the link. This is all pretty common sense stuff and it clears the way for the bigger legislative goals of bike advocates.
ABC7 had coverage of the law and, naturally, it devolved into a scofflaw cyclist discussion.
The new rules also place more responsibility on the drivers. If a driver fails to yield to a cyclist, he or she could get three points on their license, along with a $250 fine.
And if a driver collides with a cyclist, there could be six points on your license and a $500 fine.
As a result, some District drivers are not at all happy with these new rules, saying they aren't fair.
That drivers can be punished for driving badly and that the punishment is worse for driving badly than cycling badly is not necessarily unfair. Just as robbing a bank with a butter knife is often treated differently than robbing it with a bomb.
"All bicyclists don't operate their vehicle like they should," says Bradford.
In fact, while we saw many cyclists being responsible, there were plenty of others blowing through red lights and cutting around drivers who have signaled they are turning.
Which has nothing to do with this law.
"And if we hit them, we're automatically wrong because we're in the car and they're on the bike...and it's just not right," says driver Anderson.
It's also not true. You're not automatically wrong because you're in a car. In fact, some might assert that the bias goes the other way.
Cyclists say the laws are needed because they are the most vulnerable out there on the road – but drivers tell us it has to be a two-way street.
When cyclists start running down drivers from behind and killing them, then we can start talking about a two-way street.
"I definitely support all types of transportation, but I would like if they would compromise," says Clarke. "I'm going to be aware of you, and you need to be aware of me."
That's not a compromise. That's the law. There's no quid pro quo there. You're legally obligated to be aware of others on the road - whether they return the favor or not. And now if you aren't while driving, it will carry a larger punishment.
Also, we don't need bike bells anymore. Sorry all-powerful bike bell lobby.