The Department of Transportation is proposing a couple bills to make South Dakota's roads safer for non-motorized travelers.

For cyclists, SD-DOT offers House Bill 1030. HB 1030 seeks to codify the three-foot separation that cars and trucks should give to bicycles. That three feet is measured from your mirrors and the 2x4 sticking out the side of your trailer, not just your wheels. DOn't give that wide berth, and HB 1030 will give you a Class 2 misdemeanor.

HB 1030 also inserts a provision for stupid bicyclists:

No driver of a bicycle may overtake another vehicle on the right if the overtaken vehicle is signaling to make a right turn.

If you need the law to tell you that maneuver is a bad idea... well, I'll just let Darwinian selection handle that problem.

For folks on foot, SD-DOT recommends House Bill 1032, which clarifies crosswalk rules. Right now, SDCL 32-27-1 says drivers "within a business or residence district shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the highway within any clearly marked crosswalk or any regular pedestrian crossing...." HB 1032 gets rid of the qualifier "within a business or residence district," making clear that drivers must yield to pedestrians at crossings on any road. HB 1030 strikes "yield the right-of-way to" and inserts "bring the vehicle to a complete stop for." Under HB 1032, you can't keep creeping up on those walkers; you need to stand on those brakes. HB 1032 extends the reach of the law by adding "entering or" between "highway" and "within." I'll be curious to see the exact definition and geometry of "entering," but I'd say that if I'm driving and I see a pedestrian on the sidewalk with feet in motion breaking the plane of the curb, HB 1032 says I must stop.

Finally, HB 1032 nicely clarifies that if you're driving toward a crosswalk, and a vehicle in front of you has stopped to let a pedestrian cross, you also need to stop. I guess we need to spell things out for some people.