PennDOT today announced that the law that sets new rules for Pennsylvania motorists to follow when encountering a bicyclist will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, April 2. Governor Tom Corbett signed the law, designed to improve safety and traffic flow, on February 2, 2012.
The new law requires motorists to leave a 4-foot “cushion of safety” when passing a bicyclist. To achieve this cushion, drivers may cross a roadway’s center-line when passing a bicycle on the left, but only when opposing traffic allows. Drivers attempting to turn left must also yield the right of way to bicycle riders traveling in the opposite direction.
“The differential in speed is the biggest safety challenge with motor vehicles and bicycles sharing our state’s roadways,” said PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch. “I urge all drivers and cyclists to learn the rules of the road to better share our highways and make travel safer for all.”
Bicycle Safety Tips:
- Wear light-colored, reflective clothing so you can be seen.
- Consider wearing an approved helmet and other protective gear.
- Children under 12 years of age must wear an approved safety helmet.
- Ride on the right side of the road.
- Signal your intentions in advance.
- Consider attending training to obtain the skills necessary to ride safely on the road.
The new law also calls for bicycle riders to use all reasonable efforts to avoid impeding the normal flow of traffic. When there is only one travel lane, bicyclists may use any portion of the lane to avoid hazards on the roadway, including maintaining a safe distance from stopped and parked cars.
As always, bicyclists and motorists should obey all traffic signs and signals. PennDOT also recommends bicyclists always ride predictably and signal their intentions before proceeding so that motorists have a chance to react. For more information on bicycling safety, please click HERE.
Source: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT)
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