Note: This page is part of the Governor's News Archive, which holds press releases from January 2009 through September 2011. Since October 2011, recent news can be found in the Newsroom and archived news is available at news.delaware.gov.
Protects Pedestrians, Cyclists, Skateboarders, and Others Using Roadways Delaware becomes second state in the nation with such a law
Newark, DE – Surrounded by bicycle advocates and enthusiasts at Paper Mill Road Park, Governor Jack Markell signed into law today Senate Bill 269, which amends Delaware’s careless or inattentive driving law and increases penalties for drivers convicted of inattentive or careless driving that results in the injury of a “vulnerable user” of the state’s roads. A “vulnerable user” includes pedestrians, including those who work on the road (construction or utility), cyclists, skateboarders, those on roller skates or inline skates, scooters, mopeds, motorcycles, farm tractors or similar farm vehicles and those riding on animals.
“As a cyclist myself, I understand how vulnerable someone feels on the road next to motor vehicles, “ said Governor Markell. “This bill is first and foremost about safety. It’s about protecting people using a public right of way. It puts all of us, as drivers, on notice that motor vehicles must, at times, share the road. We are all focused on making Delaware an even better place to ride.”
Delaware courts can now impose additional penalties including a mandatory traffic safety course or community service for the driver found guilty of inattentive driving involving the injury or death of a vulnerable user. Until now, no such enhanced penalties existed.
State Senator David Sokola (D- Newark), primary sponsor of the legislation and cyclist, said at today’s signing, “Anyone who comes to this park by any other means than a motor vehicle is a vulnerable user. SB269 is not only about cyclists; it’s about other road users affected by inattentive drivers. Legitimate road users are entitled to protections under the law.”
“Hopefully, this legislation will raise awareness of all road users by public safety folks and drivers on the road,” said State Representative Joseph Miro (R- Pike Creek), a co-sponsor of the legislation.
“This is another step in making Delaware a better place to live and making our roads safer,” said Amy Wilburn, Chair of the Delaware Bicycle Council, which advocated for the legislation.