By Russ Hymas and Ken Christensen — The 2013 legislative session was referred to by some as the “Year of the Bike” on Capitol Hill. That year, the Utah legislature passed six bicycle related bills – including Utah Code 41-6a-706, listing bicyclists as vulnerable users and removing the “or other safe distance” language from the 3-foot rule; 41-6a-705.5, making it legal for cyclists to pass cars on the right while traveling on the shoulder of the road; and 41-6a-305, allowing cyclists to pass through a red traffic signal after waiting 90 seconds and determining that the traffic control signal did not detect the cyclist’s presence.
Since 2013, very few bicycle laws have been presented to the legislature. However, during the 2017 legislative session, our office drafted and asked Representative Karen Kwan to sponsor legislation (HB170) that helps cyclists receive fair compensation for their damaged bike as quickly as possible. Both legislative bodies passed the bill, which was recently signed by Governor Herbert. 78A-8-102 now allows a cyclist injured in an accident to resolve the claim for damage to their bicycle (and other personal property items) in small claims court, without limiting their ability to make a claim for bodily injury against the same defendant in a separate legal action.
A few years ago, the legislature had passed a law creating a pathway for injured persons to resolve their property damage claims in small claims court without affecting their ability to later pursue an injury claim. However, the original law didn’t have […]