Markell signs measured designed to protect bicyclists

    Delaware Governor Jack Markell signs measure that enhances penalties for inattentive drivers who casue injuries to “vulnerable users” of the roads.

    Surrounded by a group of bikers (the spandex-wearing-type, not the leather-jacket-wearing kind), Delaware Governor Jack Markell (D) signed SB 269 into law Thursday morning at Paper Mill Park near Newark.  The measure increases  the penalty for a driver convicted of inattentive or careless driving  that results in the injury of a “vulnerable user” of the state’s roads.  Those vulnerable users include bicyclists, skateboarders, roller skaters, and others.

    Click on image to view a slideshow.
    Click on image to view a slideshow.

    Markell, an avid bike rider, says this is just another step in the state’s effort to improve conditions for cyclists.  “We’re all focused on making Delaware an even better place to ride.”  He says after recent bike trips in Virginia and Montana, “A lot of places are really competing for tourists on the basis of bike friendliness, and we need to do the same thing, because it’s really a great way to get around.”

    State Senator David Sokola (D- Newark) who is also a bike enthusiast, says it’s about more than just cycling.  He says before this bill was approved, “There was no enhanced penalties for somebody who is inattentively driving and causes a serious physical injury to a vulnerable user.”  Sokola says now the courts can impose additional penalties including a mandatory traffic safety course or community service for the driver found guilty of inattentive driving.

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