New tool to protect bicyclists  

share the roadPass a bicycle too closely and you are soon down the road and anyway it comes down to your word against that of the biker.

But with bike stations, bike lanes and bike routes spreading in Kansas City and elsewhere, bike law policing is also evolving.

All states now have a safe passing law of some kind but they have been hard to enforce.

Enter technology.

Governing on-line magazine reported Wednesday that Chattanooga, Tenn., is testing a device that uses an ultrasound detector to measure the distance between a bike and a passing car.

A camera on the handlebars of the bike records the distance and the license plate and model of the vehicle.

Also from the article by J.B. Wogan:

Chattanooga police had never enforced the law since it started in 2007. Tennessee is among 35 states with a safe passing law that specifies a distance, almost always three feet.

Missouri is among the other states with a law that just says pass at a safe distance.

Since May, one Chattanooga officer on one bike has stopped 25 drivers for violating the three-feet law.

So far no one has been ticketed. Police have used the technology to educate drivers, along with putting signs on some police cruiser rear windows that show how far three feet is.

The Chattanooga police chief said cities in more than a dozen states have contacted him about trying the new technology from an Austin software firm called Codaxus.

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One Comment

  1. Cathie Chesen says:

    What a great idea! Now, we just need to figure out how to keep the drivers in the driving lane and not hurt bikers, when the bike lane crosses over to the car lane!

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