Tip of the helmet to Talking Politics for a brief mention of this. I haven't seen anything of this in our rags. Also, MassBike's lament on this is here.
The bill (H.5372) resulted from the dogged efforts of Rep. Anne E. Paulsen. The Belmont legislator is a guardian of public safety, with a particular eye for cyclists.
It provides that police around the state take training in cycling laws and requires real enforcement of such reckless acts as turning a vehicle into a cycle or opening a door and causing a crash. It is full of long overdue, common-sense help for commuting cyclists, the ones most at risk on their daily rides.
Our bleach-job politician (I am a real blond and can write that) clearly was swiveling in her chair instead of reading when she vetoed this one. In its entirety, her note to the legislature reads:
December 31,2006Okay...but...it wasn't about recreational affairs...it wasn't restricting cyclists...
To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives:
Pursuant to Part the Second, Chapter I, Section I, Article II of the Constitution of the Commonwealth, I am returning unsigned House Bill No. 5372, "An Act Providing for Bicycle Safety."
I support increased awareness of bike safety, but I believe this bill is overly regulative and represents an unwarranted governmental intrusion into the recreational affairs of citizens. I encourage the Legislature to focus on education that promotes safety and not on a new regulatory framework that subjects bicyclists to sanctions and fines.
For this reason, I am returning to you House Bill No. 5372 unsigned.
This was safety for citizens, pure and simple. It's too late for a veto override, but at least this will come up again in the next session. Bless Rep. Paulsen. Curse Kerry.
She wasn't a real governor, but she played one at the State House. Thank the forces of heaven and earth that she never had a shot at the office.
Tags: massmarrier, Massachusetts, cycling, Anne Paulsen, Kerry Healey, veto