Northwest Iowa — If you ride a bicycle on the highway, the Iowa Senate has approved a bill that would allow you to be safer while doing so. Motorists in Iowa would be required to change lanes on highways when passing a bicycle under that bill. The measure was approved Wednesday on a vote of 38 to 12. It would require a vehicle passing a bike to get completely over in the adjoining lane, instead of just giving the cyclist a few feet.
Senator Bill Dotzler, a Democrat from Waterloo, talked about a frightening experience while riding a bicycle in rural Butler County.
Iowa City Democrat and avid cyclist Joe Bolkcom says it’s hard to understand the danger until you’ve experienced it on two wheels.
Supporters say the measure would reduce the number of fatal car versus bicycle crashes. Opponents question the safety of cars lining up behind a slow-moving bicycle until it’s clear enough to pass. Backers say Iowa is one of only a few states without a law on passing bicycles.