From our wonderful colleagues at the Bicycle Coalition of Maine:
We are incredibly excited to announce a big victory at the State House for all bicyclists and pedestrians in Maine.
For the past six months we’ve been working hard in support of The Bicycle / Pedestrian Safety and Responsibility Act (LD 1301). On Friday, June 12, Governor LePage signed this important bill into law.
As a result of our hard work, and with the help of thousands of members, supporters, and local, state, and national partners, important improvements that will better protect all users of our roads have now been added to Maine law. This legislation accomplishes three main goals:
1. Maine law now defines a “Vulnerable User” as a person on the public way who is more vulnerable to injury than a person in a motor vehicle. This definition includes pedestrians, bicyclists, wheelchair users, those driving tractors, and others. The new law also strengthens Drivers Education programs by requiring courses to include increased instruction on protecting the rights and safety of vulnerable users.
2. The law also increases protections for walkers, runners, and wheelchair crossing the street by requiring drivers yield to pedestrians who are attempting to cross the street at a marked crosswalk. Before this change, drivers only had to yield when pedestrians at a marked crosswalk stepped out into the road.
3. In addition to the added protections for pedestrians and all vulnerable users, the law also provides needed clarification regarding the responsibilities of bicyclists; namely their duty to obey yield signs, stop signs, one-way streets, and traffic lights.
We could not have won this campaign without the help of so many members, supporters and partners. Thank you for being a part of this important effort!