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It's a good bill, but he's got to get a vote on it by the beginning of next week at the latest. Because it will need to clear second reader plus a day for third reader unless they switch legislative days (possible, although unlikely) prior to crossover 3/17. If it doesn't clear the chamber by crossover than it's DOA given it doesn't have a crossfiled bill. Given Brian Frosh is busy running for AG, it's worth our cycling community saying to him we expect this bill will get a vote with ample time to be considered before crossover.

Here's the email I sent to Jamie today:

Hi Jamie,

I wanted to thank you for introducing SB 808. I was involved in a bike accident in 2010 where the driver did not look to his right and turned into me while I was riding. He admitted to the cop that he didn't look and was ticketed. Despite this, State Farm Insurance is disputing that their driver was at fault even though I was following the letter of the law on my bike and the car driver was not. This is the very situation your bill is designed to help with.

While my accident was in the District and not Maryland, it's an example of the kind of problems we cyclists face. Insurance defense lawyers know drivers don't like bicyclists. They know that they can create just enough doubt in a juror's mind to avoid liability if they fight every step of the way. The should be clearly on our side when we follow the law.

I grew up in Oregon and Washington where the laws are very favorable to bikes. Our Maryland laws need substantial improvement to protect bikes and pedestrians. I've spoken with Alice about some of the ideas before. I'm glad that you're taking this small step forward. Even though I understand the bill has no legs this year, I hope you will continue addressing bike and pedestrian issues in the upcoming legislative sessions. This is a substantial quality-of-life issue to those of us who choose to reduce our environmental impact by commuting by bike.

Thanks again.

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