The state's new Safe Passing Act, signed into law earlier this year, officially took effect April 2, bringing good news to people like me who use their bikes to commute to work. Now, motorists are required to provide a 4-foot berth when they pass bicyclists.
This is an important traffic safety law, making it a bit easier for cyclists and motorists to share the road. But it doesn't mean cyclists can stop being vigilant, especially in downtown areas. Although many Pennsylvania cities are working to ensure safe cycling conditions, there is more they can do, if only they had all of the tools.
Right now, only Philadelphia is allowed to use red-light cameras at dangerous intersections. But two bills are making their way through the state General Assembly to give more cities, including York, that option.
The first, Senate Bill 595, passed the Senate and awaits action in the House; the second, House Bill 821, is undergoing committee review.
I've heard the arguments against cameras. They make out the drivers who break the law to be the victims.
As someone who regularly faces down 2-ton cars with a 20-pound bike, I have a different perspective.
If there are ways to prevent accidents and improve public safety on our roads, then we should explore those opportunities.
Red light cameras make people better drivers because they make drivers more cautious.
In Philadelphia, data shows red-light running violations are down an average of 48 percent after 12 months and total crashes down 24 percent for the 10 intersections with three years of data.
These findings support similar reports in other areas where the devices are in use.
The Safe Passing Act affects every motorist and every cyclist.
In that same spirit, shouldn't every community at least have the option to consider red-light cameras?