Legislative Monitoring Partnership Uncovers Threats

The joint Legislative monitoring project, between PeopleForBikes (PFB) and the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association (BPSA) is resulting in unprecedented industry scrutiny of state and local legislation and ordinances in all 50 states.

Alex Logemann, who started this important work as a part-time PFB employee in late 2014, has now moved into a full-time role. He has examined over 20,000 bills and 7,000 regulations through a search of keywords important to industry companies.

“There are a dizzying array of proposed new laws that show up every day,” Logemann noted. “Lawmakers seem intent on regulating cyclists and bicycle-related products, and we’re here to keep an eye on them.”

Here are a few examples from the thousands of proposed laws Logemann has observed:

1) Lighting Laws. In its original form, California AB 28 this bill would have required that all bicyclists use a white flashing rear light at night.  We coordinated with CalBike, who was in touch with the bill sponsor, to provide industry input and this legislation was amended to require a red rear light or reflector when riding at night.  We have monitored four other bills addressing bicycle lights this session to ensure that any reforms are consistent with products on the market.

2) Quick Release Restrictions.  New Jersey has seen nine bills introduced since 2006 attempting to regulate the use of quick releases on bicycles.  The BPSA has been engaged on this subject since a version of this bill passed the New Jersey Assembly in 2007, and then died in the Senate.  Senate Bill 1517 is the most recent version of this legislation, and remains pending this session.  We are continuing to monitor this bill, and remain ready to act if it sees any movement.

3) Fees on Bicycles and Accessories. In 2014 and 2015, laws that would have imposed new fees or taxes on bicycling were proposed in California, Georgia, Indiana, Minnesota, Oregon, and Wisconsin. In some states the fees were as high as $25 on the sale of a new bicycle. While these proposals did not pass, we continue to closely watch any bills that would impose additional costs on bicycles and related accessories.  On a positive note, we have also observed bicycle-friendly bills in New York state that would exempt bicycle helmets from sales tax, and provide a tax credit for new bicycle purchases.

4) Chemical Restrictions. State legislatures have been particularly active in working on laws that regulate the use of chemicals in consumer products. Many of these bills require manufacturers of products containing listed chemicals to report their presence, and several bills even ban products containing listed chemicals.  Of the over 100 bills that have been introduced across the country on this subject, we are:

  • Closely tracking 24 bills that are more likely to affect the bicycle industry
  • Engaging with partners that test our products for the presence of chemicals for technical analysis
  • Developing relationships with external groups that we may partner with to effectively ensure the bicycle industry is represented in state legislatures