DES MOINES, Iowa — This legislative session the Iowa House introduced a bill that would increase the penalties for drivers that cause a crash causing injury or death to a cyclist.
However, due to an amendment attached to the bill, it will likely not pass into law.
Representative John Wills (R) added an amendment that would require bicycles traveling on roads with a speed limit of 45 miles per hour or greater to have daytime lights attached. Bikes without lights would be liable for any injury caused by a driver.
Bif Ridgway, a member of the family that owns and started Bike World, said that safety lights are important to the bike community, but the community would prefer they are not required by law.
“I could certainly argue it both ways. I still think that the lights part of it should be a choice. Even look at motorcycles you don’t have to wear a helmet cycling you don’t have to wear a helmet. Daytime running lights in cars isn’t even a legality aspect anymore so I think it’s one of those grey areas,” Ridgway said.
Other concerns of the biking community involve the cost of adding daytime lights and what the law would mean for cyclists visiting from out of state for RAGBRAI.
Ridgway said that safety is still important to the biking community despite opposition to the bill.
“We try to do everything we can to be more visible. I, being a cyclist, look for cyclists and there’s times where I come up on a cyclist and go ‘Oh they didn’t do themselves any favors wearing all black, no lights’ so I’d say it’s very important and I’d say most of our community is safety oriented. The number one selling color of jerseys is screaming yellow so we do have a very safety-oriented community,” Ridgway said.