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Two Wisconsin Bike Federation Bills That Help Bicyclists

By Keith Stachowiak on April 3, 2015 // Leave a Comment

wisconsin-bike-lawsThis summer, the Wisconsin Bike Federation was successful in having Governor Walker sign two bills that help bicyclists: The Vulnerable User Bill  and Assembly Bill 730.

These bills and other bicycle-friendly legislation help bolster Wisconsin’s reputation as a bicycle-friendly place to live and visit. They also help injured cyclists make their case in recovering for a personal injury.

Vulnerable User Bill

The Vulnerable User Bill, Wis. Stat. § 340.01(74p), defines a “vulnerable user” as any of the following:

  • (a) A pedestrian.
  • (b) A bicyclist.
  • (c) An operator of a moped or motor bicycle.
  • (d) An operator of, or passenger on, an animal-drawn vehicle, farm tractor, farm truck tractor, farm trailer, or implement of husbandry.
  • (e) A person riding upon in-line skates, a horse, or a play vehicle.
  • (f) A law enforcement officer, traffic officer, fire fighter, or emergency medical technician, while performing his or her official duties.
  • (g) A person who is rendering medical or emergency assistance to another person.

The bill improves the requirements in drivers’ education classes, making instruction related to vulnerable users mandatory. The bill also sought to double fines and increase penalties to drivers for injuring a vulnerable user. Those penalty enhancers, however, had to be removed in order for the bill to pass both the senate and assembly. The Wisconsin Bike Federation will continue working toward passing this type of legislation in the future.

Assembly Bill 730

Assembly Bill 730 makes it possible for bicyclists to legally use state trials after 11:00 p.m. and before 6:00 p.m. Previously, according to WDNR rule NR45.04(2), all people were prohibited from entering or being within, among other areas, the boundaries of any state park, state recreation area, forest campground, picnic area, beach, or parking area. This posed problems for bicyclists who used state trails at night, such as the Hank Aaron State Trail, to attend evening entertainment venues or restaurants, and for commuters who used the trails in the mornings to get to work. Organizers of late night riding events were discouraged from using these trails for their events. Now, WI ADC § NR 45.04(2)(a)5, users of state trails may legally do so at any time.

Who is the Wisconsin Bike Federation?

The Wisconsin Bike Federation works through education, legislation, and community involvement to protect and enhance the interests of all bicyclists in the state – from occasional recreational riders to daily commuters to racing enthusiast and everyone in between. For more information on the Wisconsin Bike Federation and to become involved in this important organization, visit wisconsinbikefed.org.

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