Cyclists Cry Out for New Laws

Friday, April 3, 2009 - 5:36pm

The tragic death of a local doctor could lead to new laws to protect cyclists. Colin Goodier was a local physician and avid cyclist. Last June he was killed in a tragic accident on River Road. Now a new law bearing his name, designed to protect cyclists is headed to the state legislature. Our Emily Turner is tracking this story.

John Hans used a bike as his primary source of transportation for 20 years and as you can imagine, he’s covered a lot of miles. He says he is no stranger to the dangers of the road. In fact, he’s had several scary encounters, including one time when he was knocked off his bike by a car that was driving too close. “In general they think we’re a nuisance, in the way.” Here’s a perfect example. Capital Heights is a popular route for cyclists, but check out this truck, its bed blocks half of the bike lane.

Hans says he is relived a proposed law, created to protect him and fellow cyclists will be brought before the Louisiana State Legislature next month. It’s called the Colin Goodier Bicycle Protection Act, named after a doctor who was struck by a car and killed while riding along River Road. The bill would legally recognize cyclists as having rights to the road. Cars would be required to give those on bikes at least three feet of space and would make sure signs like these are prominently displayed on all designated biking routes. IF the new act passes not only will it protect those who ride bikes here in Baton Rouge, but cyclists statewide.

Hans doesn’t understand why anyone would be opposed to the new law, considering it’s a small thing to ask for the amount of lives it would save, but for those who think it’s unnecessary, “When gas hits $10 a gallon and more of us have to cycle that will change their minds.”

Representative Michael Jackson has agreed to bring the Colin Goodier Act before the Louisiana State Legislature next month.