Bike safety ordinances

Harry Spiller, 78, talks Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, about a close call he had with a car while riding his bike in Galveston. He’s already installed a red light on the back of his bike, along with a reflector and a headlight on his handlebar. The city council passed an ordinance last month that requires cyclists to have the red light on the back. The ordinance also requires drivers to keep 3 feet between their vehicles and bicyclists, pedestrians and people on horseback.

Galveston City Council was right to approve an ordinance setting out new rules meant to govern the interaction between motor vehicles and other travelers — primarily bicyclists but also pedestrians and people on horseback or in horse-drawn conveyances — despite some doubts and worries.

The new ordinance, scheduled to take effect May 1, has provisions aimed at motor-vehicle drivers and bicyclists.

Michael A. Smith: 409-683-5206;


(7) comments

David Schuler

Instead of a fine, if an officer finds a cyclist with no light at night, they take the offender home and take the bike to the nearest Fire Station, where it stays until the rider comes to get it. Stays for a week or more, goes to a local charity. Same thing every time. No fines, much inconvenience. Pretty soon light-less riders will get the idea and invest in a $6 light. No amount of 'educational period' is going to make a whit of difference and to believe so is to not understand the Galveston attitude.

Michael Jozwiak

I've asked two police officers about the legal/correct manner to make a right turn over the green bike lanes and got two different answers. Do you stay to the right of the green lane, then turn right over it at the corner? Or do you pull across the green lane earlier and turn right from the curb lane? I've seen drivers do it both ways.

Steve Fouga

Michael, as I understand it, if the bike lane has a dashed white line near the intersection, a driver should use that section to pull into the bike lane and make the right turn, after checking to see that there are no bikes in the lane. If the lane does not have said dashed section, the driver should stay in the main lane until reaching the intersection, and then turn right, after checking to see there are no bikes in the bike lane. An easy way to remember is that a vehicle is not supposed to cross a solid line to change lanes or to turn.

Miceal O'Laochdha

Michael do you think that, in order to provide a broader context for your editorial, that a reporter could be assigned to follow-up with a story on how many citations have been issued to Galveston bicycle riders in a recent 12 month period for such violations as failure to stop at red lights and stop signs, illegal left turns, swooping thru intersections across multiple traffic lanes, failure to yield right of way and similar? And perhaps include the record of how much money the City has received in fines for these violations in the same time period? I think this would be very valuable information for the public to have when considering the overall question of bicycle / automobile safety and related enforcement efforts of existing traffic laws.

George Croix

CAUTION: The AMA has determined that holding one's breath for extended periods of time, can lead to serious health problems, or death.

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Rusty Schroeder

Good luck, I'm still waiting on fireworks citations issued with your same request. Agree with George, don't turn purple then pale white. :) :) :)

Jarvis Buckley

David that is a worthy idea🚴

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