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Schedule a Hearing for Vulnerable Roadway User Legislation

This petition made change with 293 supporters!

Modeled after accepted European standards and containing penalties similar to those used in numerous states and communities across the country, this legislation creates enhanced penalties for drivers who injure or kill a vulnerable roadway user, defined as a bicyclist, pedestrian or wheelchair user.

In Michigan, similar enhanced penalties already exist for reckless drivers who injure or kill construction workers, children in designated school zones, or operators of slow-moving farm vehicles.

Currently, crashes involving bicyclists legally using public roads often result in minor consequences for careless drivers that injure non-motorized users. Unless a victim can prove that the driver was grossly negligent, he or she usually has limited legal recourse. In fact, blame often gets shifted to victims with statements like "this wouldn't have happened if they weren't in the road."

Killing a cyclist rarely even merits court appearances. In practice, Michigan law places little burden on drivers to be alert for other roadway users. Non-motorists have every right to expect that drivers will safely maneuver around them. Drivers who injure or kill bicyclists and pedestrians deserve to have their driving skills called into question and face stiffer penalties under state law.

A vulnerable roadway user provision would provide law enforcement and prosecutors with an enhanced set of penalties that fill the gap between basic traffic infractions and more serious crimes.

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