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  • Posted Oct 9

There's a lot more than the Presidential Election on the ballot for November 3. Here's how to use your vote to make cycling in Iowa safer.

We have been inundated with information about the Presidential Election on November 3, 2020 - but that’s not what we’re here to talk about. There’s a lot at stake at the state level too.

Every two years, we have the opportunity to use our votes to make Iowa a better and safer place to ride a bicycle.

The men and women elected to the Iowa House of Representatives and the Iowa Senate make the laws for this state. In recent years, they have done nothing to increase cyclist safety or protect cyclists.

We want to empower the cycling community to know exactly who they’re voting for and to remind everyone that all elections on the ballot are important and a chance to make your voice heard.


SAFE PASSING LAW

Iowa is only one of only eight states in the nation that does NOT have a specific law for passing a bicyclist. The other 42 states have laws about how to safely pass a bicyclist. (Learn more about laws in each state with the Safe Passing Bicycles Chart from the National Conference of State Legislatures.)

How can Iowa be such a bicycle-friendly state yet allow hundreds of overtaking crashes to happen each year? Cyclists are injured or killed and drivers are charged with little or no penalties!

Please take some time to contact your State House and State Senate candidates. Ask them where they stand on a Safe Passing Law. Let them know it’s an important issue!

Over and over again, we see cyclists injured or killed in Iowa, and we frequently see no legal action taken against the driver because IOWA LAWS ARE LAX when it comes to killing people on bikes!

This is only a small sample of people who have been injured or killed while riding in Iowa in the recent past. To see a more complete list, check out the Ride of Silence.

The Iowa Legislature (made up of the State House and State Senate) convenes every January and generally meets through April or May. During that time, they discuss policies, make laws and set the budget for the state. That’s a very small window of time each year to work on a Safe Passing Law - so it’s critical that the people that want your vote know how you feel about this issue!

Now is the time to contact your candidates for State House and State Senate and make sure that they know a Safe Passing Law and bicycle safety are important!


HOW TO CONTACT:

Look up who your current legislators are (and your House and Senate Districts): Find Your Legislator

Use those House and Senate District numbers to find the candidates running to represent you in the State House and State Senate:

Candidate List - includes phone, address and email


WHAT TO DO:

Probably the quickest and easiest way to ask a candidate about their stance on a Safe Passing Law is to send them an email. A few sentences about why it's important should do - and then you'll have the candidates response in writing!

It could be as simple as asking:

  • Do you support requiring drivers of vehicles to exercise care when passing cyclists?
  • Do you support requiring drivers to pass to the left at a distance of at leastthree feet until they have safely and completely passed the cyclist?
  • Will you vote to make Iowa a safer place to ride a bicycle?

And if the candidate doesn't respond to you before they are elected, is it really someone you want to vote for?!?!?

FIND your candidates, CONTACT them and make them EARN your vote!


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