Bill Would Mean Points, Fines for Drivers Who Cut Off Cyclists

New bill aims to levy new punishments against drivers

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Drivers could get points on their licenses for cutting off cyclists under newly proposed road rules -- but the feuds on the roads are likely to continue. (Published Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013)

    A proposed set of road rules aims to make it safer for drivers and bicyclists to share the streets of D.C.

    The bill -- proposed by D.C. Councilmembers Mary Cheh and Tommy Wells -- would add bike safety questions to driver's license exams, and would levy some new punishments against drivers: Not yielding to cyclists could get you three points on your license and $250 fine. An accident with someone on a bicycle would mean six points and a $500 fine.

    While the feud between cyclists and drivers rages on, Cheh urges caution for those behind the wheel.

    "Remember, in an encounter between a bike and a car, the bicyclist loses," she said.

    Cyclist Jacob Wilson told News4's Erika Gonzalez that his concern is "drivers who either are not paying attention, or think bikers shouldn't be on the road."

    He thinks the bill is headed in the right direction, noting that drivers have yelled at him to get off the road.

    A D.C. cabdriver said he would be more supportive of cyclists if more of them followed traffic laws. "They jump in front of you, tell you off," he said. "[If] they follow the rules, I don't mind sharing the roads."

    Wilson agreed, saying more cyclists need to obey the laws as well.

    Cheh said she expects the bill to be passed sometime this summer. "We need this culture shift; we need this education," she said. "We need to be, as they say, multi-modal. There will be many means of transportation."