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Des Moines Register - Letter to the Editor

The Iowa House has introduced a study bill that promotes safe passage and requires bicycles to have front and rear lights constantly on when using the road. The safe passage initiative is proper, yet the lights requirement is more harmful than it is beneficial.

Never mind that, arguably, the language is broad enough to include use of trail crossings and sidepaths. Never mind the practical burdens this bill presents to getting people to use healthy and fun alternatives to car transportation. Never mind the default victim-blaming this places on every cyclist who suffers the consequences of a collision. Never mind the diversion of resources exhausted on policing cyclists' lights rather than speeding, texting, reckless motorists. Legislators need to consider the excusable defense this gives someone who hits and hurts or, worse yet, kills a cyclist in broad daylight. This defense complicates the burden for criminal prosecution, and it undermines an injured party and their loved ones from having a fair shake at recovery in civil court.

Frankly, if I were to hit a cyclist in broad daylight...

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