DES MOINES — The legislature has passed a bill requiring motorists in Iowa to yield not just to pedestrians in crosswalks, but to bicyclists, skateboarders and people on scooters or in wheelchairs. It expands current state law, which says drivers face criminal charges if they injure or kill a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

Representative Jon Dunwell of Newton said it’s important to protect others using a crosswalk to navigate traffic.

“Speaking as someone who back in 2000 I was in a bike lane and got hit by a truck and spent seven days in the hospital with four operations, and I can tell you how important it is with bikes and cars on the road that we protect bicyclists and create these safety areas,” Dunwell said.

Representative Thomas Gerhold of Atkins said the bill will save lives and prevent injuries, “create more awareness from drivers when they are approaching a crosswalk, either marked or unmarked.”

The bill is headed to the governor’s desk. It passed the House at the end of February on an 84-8 vote and the Senate approved it unanimously last week. The neighboring states of Nebraska, Minnesota and Illinois have similar laws.