From a Washington Post article on bicycle bills being pushed by cycling advocates. On the law to change the passing distance from 3 feet to 4 feet.
“I’m a little shell-shocked that there are so many bike bills,” said Del. James E. Malone Jr. (D-Baltimore-Howard counties), who chaired the hearing before the House Environmental Matters Committee. “This year it’s four feet, and next year it’s five feet, and before you know it the cars are on the shoulders and the bikes are on the road.”
Malone said many cyclists he observes “don’t pay any attention to the rules of the road.”
And when cyclists are hit from behind by drivers who pass too closely, that is relevant how. I'm not sure a 4 foot law will make much difference than a 3 foot law, but these arguments (scofflaw cyclists and the slippery slope) are pretty stupid.
But wait, there's more. On a law that will keep insurance companies from applying a different standard of conduct to bicyclists than they do to drivers,
“We need a law that says the [Maryland] vehicles code is the standard,” said Shane Farthing of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, which he said has 17,000 Maryland members. “Under common law there’s an expectation that the smaller thing gets out of the way of the bigger thing, just as a small boat might get out of the way of a larger vessel on the Chesapeake Bay.”
“In a nut shell,” said Del. Herb McMillan (R-Anne Arundel), “you want to overturn common law.”
No. Writing statutory law that contradicts case law is not overturning common law. We just want to help cyclists who are injured, while obeying the law, but who have their insurance claims rejected because insurance companies apply a different standard of conduct to bicyclists than they do to drivers.