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Senate Panel Approves Compromise Bicycle Passing Proposal

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A state Senate committee has approved a measure advocates say will help lessen the danger of passing vehicles to cyclists.

The Senate Transportation Committee on Thursday unanimously passed the proposal, which had previously faced some speed bumps in the House over how the issue should be addressed.

Transportation Department attorney William Nevin says the compromise proposal sets two standards for passing cyclists. On roads with speed limits of 35 mph or less, vehicles must give cyclists a 3-foot buffer when passing on the left. On roads with speed limits above 35 mph, the passing buffer is 6 feet.

Nevin says the standards will make the roads safer and offer an educational opportunity.

From 2010 to 2013 in South Dakota, 390 cyclists were injured and three died in collisions with vehicles.