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Posted at 10:45 AM ET, 04/26/2010

New rules for D.C.'s pedicabs

By Washington Post editors

D.C.'s pedicabs would have to follow new safety rules under a plan proposed by the District's Department of Transportation, the Washington Business Journal reports.

The three-wheeled bicycles would be allowed to operate only on public streets and in accordance with the “safe operation of bicycle regulations.” The vehicles must include a seat belt for each passenger, hydraulic or mechanical disc or drum brakes, at least one battery-operated head lamp, battery-operated tail lamps, turn lights, reflective tape, a loud bell and spoke reflectors.

Local governments nationwide have begun paying closer attention to pedicabs as the number of serious crashes has grown and as questions have arisen over whether the vehicles should be treated like bicycles, taxicabs or a hybrid of the two.

“This is an issue that we are trying to get ahead of before there is a problem,” said John Lisle, DDOT spokesman. “The number of these pedicabs operating in the District has increased, and we wanted to make sure that the passengers and drivers were sufficiently protected.”

Among the other proposed rules: Pedicab operators would be prohibited from parking or riding on a sidewalk, from riding while intoxicated, from parking in a restricted zone identified for other vehicles and from riding on any D.C. street with a posted speed limit of more than 30 mph.

The rules will be adopted in 30 days, pending public comment.

By Washington Post editors  | April 26, 2010; 10:45 AM ET
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Seat belts are not magical safety talismans.

They make a ton of sense when used in a car.

But on a bicycle, or a flimsy box towed by a bicycle? Not so much.

This is what happens when legislators care more about "looking good" than "doing good."

Posted by: 12008N1 | April 26, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

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