Our dear governor, Rick Perry, recently vetoed a bunch of bills. Some, like the one allowing the state to take kids from homes for interviews away from their parents, I was glad to see. Others, however, we not OK. I'm speaking in particular of SB488, which would have established rules to protect bikes and other non-car users of roadways. Of particular interest in this bill was a clause establishing a safe passing distance of 3ft. Making this into a law would give bikers some (currently lacking) specific legal recourse in the case of side-swipes, mirror hits, right-hook crashes, and eventually increase biker safety in the state of Texas. Governor Perry didn't want to create another class of protected citizens (classic conservative response) and vetoed it, despite overwhelming congressional and public support. I often side with the conservative political point of view, but not this time. Our laws and culture are biased toward cars on the roads and the legal system can be hostile to bicyclists.
So what can you do? You can go sign the petition at Bike Texas like I did, and make sure that the issue doesn't go away. Even if you don't commute or recreationally ride a bike, sign it anyway. It'll take less than 2 minutes, max.
I am a sub-slave, I mean graduate student, at UT working toward a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering. I hope to graduate in 2009. Pray for me.
I love playing with my kids, riding my bike a lot, and making a joyful noise to the Lord with other lovers of Jesus.