Sen. Andrew Rice announced today that he will be filing legislation for the upcoming session to help better protect bicyclists in Oklahoma. The Oklahoma democrat said the legislation is necessary following the recent deaths of three Oklahomans in bicycle-related accidents.
“Our job as legislators is to ensure the public’s safety, and we need to do what we can to keep everyone on Oklahoma’s roads safe, and that includes bicyclists,” said Rice, Senate Democratic Leader elect. “I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues in the Legislature, the Department of Public Safety and others concerned with this issue to see how we can best prevent further accidents and unnecessary deaths.”
Rice said his bill will be mirrored after Colorado’s 2009 Bicycle Safety Act, which includes commonsense rules about passing and lane position for bicycles and motor vehicles on public roads.
According to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office, more than 300 people were involved in bicycle accidents last year resulting in eleven deaths – a significant increase from previous years. Only twelve people were killed from 2006 to 2008 in bicycle accidents. So far this year, there have been at least 150 bicycle accidents and three deaths.