Legislation to expand the trove of penalties a motorist could face for injuring or killing a bicyclist, motorcyclist or jogger passed a key Louisiana House committee Wednesday (May 11).

The so-called “vulnerable road user” bill, also known as Senate Bill 171, cleared the House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice and is headed to the floor.

Should it reach Gov. John Bel Edwards’ desk, Louisiana would become the 18th state to adopt such a law meant to heighten drivers’ awareness of who is also using the roads, from pedestrians to skateboarders to cyclists and others.

“We’re having more and more accidents, and the awareness is not there that these individuals have a right to the roads as well,” said Sen. Gary Smith Jr., D-Norco, the bill’s author.