In auto industry home, Michigan tries to accommodate bikes

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – In the capital of the U.S. auto industry, drivers have been slow to accept that more Americans are choosing bicycles over cars for commuting or for fun and exercise.

Now Michigan is trying to make up for lost time by passing some of the nation’s strictest bike-safety regulations, including tough penalties on distracted motorists. While other states adopted bike-friendly safety laws in recent years, Michigan steered clear of the trend and watched as more riders got killed by cars.

If the proposals become law, Michigan cyclists would gain additional legal protections and motorists would have to wait for 5 feet of clearance before passing a bike – a wider berth than all but one other state.

Cyclists say it is time for the state with the Motor City to change.

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