Houston passes ordinance to protect cyclist - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Houston passes ordinance to protect cyclist

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

Cyclist Archana Williams has had some close calls with vehicles on the road.

"It's ridiculously hard to bike around this city and it's not because of the roads or the infrastructure; it's just due to the aggressive nature of our drivers," said Williams. She says she's been run off the road several times by impatient drivers who refuse to share a lane.

"For them it's just a couple of minutes off their drive but for me, it's my life potentially, them making those risky moves around me," she said.

It's why the city of Houston Wednesday passed a safe passing ordinance. It's aimed at protecting cyclists, pedestrians and other non-vehicular road users from vehicles by requiring drivers to keep their distance. According to the ordinance drivers have to stay at least three feet from cyclists while they are one the road and six feet for commercial vehicles. Similar laws have been passed in San Antonio, Fort Worth and Austin where there has been a high number of vehicle/bicycle accidents.

But some drivers are skeptical the new law will be fair.

"What if the bicyclist brings himself within three feet of the driver, I don't think there should be a penalty for the drivers if he's not the one that approached the bicyclist," said driver Neil McCabe. Others think it may be hard to enforce,

"I don't think the police force has enough individuals and they shouldn't be giving tickets out in that case," said another driver Richard Hansen.

Proponents say the ordinance is more for educational purposes, although the city says those who break it could be fined up to $500.

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