After opposition quickly mounted to a bill that would regulate bicycle and moped riders in South Carolina, Greenville County State Representative Wendy Nanney has withdrawn the legislation – for now.
The Bike Bill would have required bicyclists age 15 and older riding on streets at speeds of at least 35 miles per hour to get a license from the Department of Motor Vehicles after passing a written safety exam.
Speaking Tuesday afternoon on WVOC's “Jonathon and Kelly Show,” Nanney said the bill's purpose was to address safety issues with more and more bikes and mopeds often mixing with heavy traffic.
“A couple weeks ago I watched as cars slammed on brakes and were swerving, trying to miss this bike going 10 miles an hour on a major four-lane highway,” Nanney said.
“What if that had caused an accident? Then who is responsible for that?”
The bill would have required liability insurance for bicyclists, and that didn't sit well with groups like the Columbia-based Palmetto Cycling Coalition, whose executive director, Amy Johnson, also spoke on WVOC.
“Bikes don't kill people. So there's no need to have liability insurance,” Johnson said. “There's also no need to regulate them when there's no system of educating throughout the entire state.”
“There's a lot that we do as a coalition and work with the road construction design and planning out there that's occurring, and we think that's a lot more of a healthier endeavor than simply adding another restriction.”
Johnson called the regulations another unnecessary layer of government.
But Nanney says she plans to hold a series of town hall meetings to get input so some sort of legislation can still be molded.