By Associated Press - Friday, March 4, 2016

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A bill moving forward in Virginia’s General Assembly seeks to protect bicyclists from drivers who fling open their car doors.

Democratic Sen. Chap Petersen’s bill would create a $50 fine for opening a car door “when it’s not reasonably safe to do so.”

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports ( that the bill was endorsed by a House committee with a 14-8 vote this week. The Senate passed it 24-16 last month. It will soon face a vote in the House.

Petersen says the state needs to create a fine to ensure the offense isn’t considered a misdemeanor traffic violation. The bill is being backed by the Virginia Bicycling Federation and the Virginia Transit Association.

Similar legislation has stalled in the General Assembly in previous years.

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