BFR stopped by to show our support for cyclists who were working to get a Safe Passing Ordinance approved in Plano – which was on the Plano City Council’s meeting agenda last night. There was a crowd of about fifty cyclists, who also came out to show their support.
I have to give some recognition to the Plano City Council. Not knowing what to expect at this session, I was worried that there might be some hesitation or debate with passing this ordinance. Fortunately, the vote was quite uneventful and relatively quick. They introduced it as part of the meeting’s Consent Agenda, voted on and approved it in a matter of minutes.
Plano is now the third north Texas city to pass a Safe Passing Ordinance after Forth Worth and Denton. Hopefully Richardson will be close behind.
Read more about the ordinance at Bike DFW.
Below is content pulled from the approved ordinance:
An Ordinance of the City of Plano, Texas amending Chapter 14, Offenses- Miscellaneous, of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Plano to add a new Article XI, Vulnerable Road Users, to regulate the conduct of motor vehicle operators while passing cyclists on a highway or street and providing a penalty; and providing a repealer clause, a savings clause, a severability clause, a publication clause and an effective date.
WHEREAS, the City of Plano Police Department recently conducted a review of past accidents involving pedal-cyclist and determined that driver inattention was a major cause of most pedal-cyclist crashes within the City; and
WHEREAS, City staff recommends that City Council add a new Article XI, Vulnerable Road Users, to establish safe passing distances and to regulate the other conduct of motor vehicle operators while passing cyclists on a highway or street to enhance cyclist safety; and
WHEREAS, upon recommendation of staff and upon full review and consideration of all matters thereto, the City Council hereby finds and determines that it is necessary and in the best interest of the city and public safety to amend Chapter 14 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Plano to add a new Article XI, Vulnerable Road Users, to regulate the conduct of motor vehicle operators while passing cyclists on a highway or street.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF PLANO, TEXAS, THAT:
Section I. A new Article XI, Vulnerable Road Users of Chapter 14, Offenses- Miscellaneous is hereby adopted to regulate the conduct of motor vehicle operators while passing cyclists on the highway or street to read in its entirety as follows:
ARTICLE XI. VULNERABLE ROAD USERS
Section 14-127. Definitions. The following words and phrases as used in this section shall have the meanings as set forth in this subsection.
“Vulnerable Road User” shall mean a person operating a bicycle, hand cycle, unicycle, motor-driven cycle, or other human powered wheeled vehicle on a street or highway.
“Safe Distance” shall mean three (3) feet if the operator’s vehicle is a passenger car, or six (6) feet if the operator’s vehicle is a truck or a commercial motor vehicle.
Section 14-128. Passing a vulnerable road user.
(a) An operator of a motor vehicle passing a vulnerable road user on a highway or street shall:
(1) vacate the lane in which the vulnerable road user is located if the highway or street has two or more marked lanes running in the same direction; or
(2) pass the vulnerable road user at a safe distance.
(b) An operator of a motor vehicle may not overtake and execute a right-hand turn in front of a vulnerable road user unless the operator is safely clear of the vulnerable road user, taking into account the speed at which the vulnerable road user is traveling and the braking requirements of the motor vehicle.
(c) An operator or passenger of a motor vehicle may not knowingly throw or project any object or substance at or against a vulnerable road user.
Section 14-129. Penalty.
Any person, firm or corporation found to be violating any term or provision of this article shall be subject to a fine in accordance with Section 1-4(b) of the City Code of Ordinances for each offense.”
Section II. All provisions of the ordinances of the City of Plano in conflict with the provisions of this Ordinance are hereby repealed, and all other provisions of the Ordinances of the City of Plano, not in conflict with the provisions of this Ordinance, shall remain in full force and effect.
Section III. The repeal of any ordinance or part of ordinances effectuated by the enactment of this Ordinance shall not be construed as abandoning any action now pending under or by virtue of such ordinance or as discontinuing, abating, modifying or altering any penalty accruing or to accrue, or as affecting any rights of the municipality under any section or provisions of any ordinance at the time of passage of this Ordinance.
Section IV. It is the intention of the City Council that this Ordinance, and every provision thereof, shall be considered severable and the invalidity or partial invalidity of any section, clause or provision of this Ordinance shall not affect the validity of any other portion of this Ordinance.
Section V. This Ordinance shall become effective immediately upon its passage and publication as required by law.