A core tenet of our work is ensuring that people of all ages and abilities, no matter where they live in Colorado, have convenient access to safe places to bike and walk. Holding agencies accountable to design, fund, and build infrastructure that prioritizes safety for bicyclists and pedestrians is a priority for Bicycle Colorado. Overall, we believe safe infrastructure is the gold standard that will save lives and provide more places to more comfortably bike, though we also understand that improving driver education and behavior is part of the solution. This year, our legislative focus has been on advocating for equitable policies that more effectively regulate driver behavior, increase the understanding and awareness of safe behavior for all road users, and hold drivers accountable for dangerous and deadly actions.
SB23-200: Automated Vehicle Identification
Bicycle Colorado Position : SUPPORT (May 2, 2023)
Status: Governor signed into law
What this is about: Current regulation hampers the effective and equitable use of cameras to enforce speed limits in Colorado. For example, state law:
- Limits use to residential, school, park and construction areas; it does not allow use on high-speed roadways, where most crashes occur.
- Requires a person to be present during operations, which means cameras aren’t in use 24/7 and are more expensive to implement.
SB23-200 will address these constraints and promote the effective and equitable use of speed cameras.
Why we care: In 2022, 745 people died on Colorado’s roads, including 121 bicyclists and pedestrians. This is a record high since the Colorado Department of Transportation started publishing data in 2002. Speeding contributes to 40% of road deaths across the state and 53% of road deaths in Denver. An abundance of research concludes that using cameras to enforce speed limits is effective and has reduced crashes resulting in serious injuries by 48%. Please read our one-pager for further explanation of this bill, including the research that supports its efficacy and why we believe it will improve safety for bicyclists, pedestrians, and other vulnerable road users.
SB23-011: Minor Driver’s Education Requirements
Bicycle Colorado Position: SUPPORT (May 2, 2023)
Status: Stalled before completing process
What this is about: Currently, people between the ages of 16 and 21 are not required to take a driver’s education course before receiving an instructional permit or license. Under SB22-011, Colorado minors would need to complete a class before receiving a permit or license. The legislation would also create a refundable income tax credit of up to $1,000 per student for qualifying taxpayers.
Bicycle Colorado is advocating for an amendment to the bill requiring at least 10 percent of driver education and testing materials to include content specific to the safety of bicyclists, pedestrians and other vulnerable road users.
Why we care: Traffic deaths among drivers ages 15 to 20 have increased from 24 deaths in 2019 to 35 in 2022. Teens are also a high-risk category of drivers who disproportionately contribute to traffic crashes. Education is one crucial part of a solution to reduce crashes.
SB23-034: Definitions of Serious Bodily Injury
Bicycle Colorado Position: MONITOR (May 2, 2023)
Status: Signed into law
What this is about: This bill will expand the definition of “serious bodily injury” in Colorado statute to include additional specificity regarding gun and knife injuries.
Why we care: In 2019, Bicycle Colorado successfully advocated making a “serious bodily injury” to a vulnerable road user (including bicyclists and pedestrians) a class one misdemeanor that subjects the violator to a restitution order and 12 points on their driver’s license. We monitor all legislation that may modify the definition of “serious bodily injury” to ensure there will be no adverse effects on bicyclists and pedestrians.