Jackson Hole, WY, February 02, 2015 --(PR.com
)-- An online petition
started by the Amy Bennett Foundation this week is quickly gaining support, garnering more than 1000 signatures in two days. The petition calls on the Wyoming State Senate to pass House Bill 0085, titled “Motor vehicle passing bicycles,” requiring drivers of motor vehicles to give three feet of room when passing bicyclists. While the bill carries no penalty for drivers who disobey the law, it is meant to raise awareness that Wyoming public roadways are also being utilized by commuters on bicycles. Five bicyclists were killed in the state of Wyoming when struck by motor vehicles during 2014 alone.
The Amy Bennett Foundation (www.amybennettfoundation.com) was founded in September of 2014 to advocate for bicycle safety and to fund scholarships for theater students, in loving memory of Amy Bennett. Amy was struck by a passing semi-truck on September 5th, 2014 while commuting to her summer job as a lead actress for the Jackson Hole Playhouse in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She was airlifted to a trauma unit in Salt Lake City and died on September 8th.
Christopher Bennett, brother to Amy, addressed the Wyoming House of Representatives via a letter he was invited to write. His plea to “pay forward something positive from something awful” was heard: HB0085 passed its third reading in the House on Monday, January 26th and was received for introduction in the Senate on January 28th.
Family, friends and supporters of the Amy Bennett Foundation are working to draw attention to this bill while it is debated in the Senate. The petition serves to not only give a voice to all bicyclists who share the roadways with motor vehicles, but also to those who no longer have a voice to give. “Amy would want us to fight for this,” stated Samantha Bennett, sister to Amy.
With similar legislation already in place in 24 states, the Amy Bennett Foundation hopes to see Wyoming make it 25. According to a comprehensive survey completed annually by state departments of transportation and state bicycling advocates, Wyoming’s ranking as a bike friendly state continues to drastically drop. It currently ranks 36th, dropping from 33rd in 2013 and 11th in 2010.
The Amy Bennett Foundation is asking for bicycle safety advocates nationwide to voice support for the bill by signing the online petition or directly emailing Senate Members in Wyoming.
“Three feet is not a lot to ask,” said Terry Bennett, Amy’s father. “And yet, three feet has the potential to help save lives.”