LB 716 Effective July 21

Posted on July 20, 2016 · Posted in General

NBA Logo Red2Updated bicycle law effective July 21, 2016

Two changes in Nebraska traffic law regarding bicycles go into effect July 21. LB 716, sponsored by Senator Rick Kolowski of Omaha and passed by the Nebraska legislature during the 2016 session, gave people on bikes the same legal right of way in crosswalks as people on foot. The bill also eliminated an outdated mandatory sidepath provision that was in the statutes.

Julie Harris, Executive Director of the Nebraska Bicycling Alliance, called the bill “a victory for safer bicycling and more equitable laws in Nebraska.”

“Bicyclists are still compelled to ride safely and obey the rules of the road, and now we have some improved laws that will help protect them,” Harris said.

Bicyclists were previously not afforded the legal right of way when crossing streets while riding in crosswalks.

“We’ve heard several accounts from people on bikes getting hit while riding in crosswalks with a green light and then receiving a citation for failure to yield, even though they were following the rules of the road.  This law will prevent this injustice from happening in the future,” said Harris.

The repeal of the mandatory sidepath provision is important for safety, Harris explained. “Nebraska still had an outdated provision on the books that required people on bikes to ride on a trail if one was adjacent to a street.  It offered no exceptions in the instance a trail was in poor condition, or if a person needed to get into a turning lane to continue in a different direction.  Now riders are legally able to take the safest and best route.”

The Nebraska Bicycling Alliance will be working with bicycle advocates across the state to get the word out about the new law and to encourage a thorough examination of local ordinances to assure that local laws do not conflict with the new state law.

For more information, please contact Harris at 402-699-3037 or julie@nebike.org.

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About the Nebraska Bicycling Alliance: The Nebraska Bicycling Alliance is a nonprofit organization. Its mission is to cultivate a safer, more bicycle friendly state through partnerships, education and advocacy.