Legislation enhances penalties for drivers who injure or kill a vulnerable roadway user.

State Rep. Julie M. Rogers (D-Kalamazoo) speaks in support of House Bills 5223-5224 on June 4, 2024, on the House floor of the Michigan Capitol in Lansing.

LANSING, Mich., June 5, 2023 — Bipartisan legislation introduced by state Reps. Julie M. Rogers (D-Kalamazoo) and Bill Schuette (R-Midland) passed the Michigan House of Representatives yesterday. House Bills 52235224 expand protections for vulnerable roadway users (VRUs) such as pedestrians, bicyclists, individuals using a wheelchair and individuals riding or operating a vulnerable transportation device.

“As a practicing physical therapist and avid cyclist, I know how important movement is to our overall health. Bicycling is part of a healthy lifestyle, and I am proud to be from the bike-friendly community of Kalamazoo. Unfortunately, Kalamazoo has experienced its share of bicycling-related tragedies,” Rogers said. “This week marks the eighth anniversary of the tragic event in Kalamazoo in which nine cyclists were hit by a person driving a truck near Markin Glen Park. Five of the cyclists were killed, and the other four were severely injured. I am proud to see this legislation pass the House to help prevent future tragedies, support cycling and promote good health.”

Alongside her vulnerable roadway package, Rogers also has a bill to expand access to electric bikes through financial incentives. Additionally, the Michigan Legislature recently considered funding for an e-bike program. Rogers is a champion for more inclusive, safer and environmentally friendly transportation policies.

“Everyone deserves safety on our roads and the freedom to walk, roll and bike without fear. We applaud the legislators who voted today to help obtain justice for vulnerable road users who are seriously injured or killed by lawbreaking drivers. These bills are an important part of a culture change that will one day end road deaths in Michigan,” said Matt Penniman, communications and advocacy director, League of Michigan Bicyclists.