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Pennsylvania’s New Bike Safety Law Takes Effect Today

The new law mandates motorists give bicyclists a 4-foot 'cushion of safety' when passing.

Listen up, Sewickley-area folks!

A law that sets new rules for Pennsylvania motorists to follow when encountering a bicyclist takes effect today.

The law, designed to improve safety and traffic flow, was signed by Gov. Tom Corbett on Feb. 2.

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 state Department of Transportation 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.”

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, visit www.DriveSafePA.org.

Donald Kay April 03, 2012 at 07:21 PM
I think the bicycle laws ought to be enforced!!! Stopped at a red light, along comes a bicycle, passing you, left or right, then goes straight, right or left. They are down the road by the time the light turns green! Then you have to keep your eyes on them, because you do not know what they are intending, for weaving and turning with no signaling. Or riding the middle! What about riding on the sidewalk to get from point A to point B faster because of traffic!!! Forget about the pedestrians huh! They should be in a car or bus! Not on the sidewalk where they ride! They coast thru stop signs, left, right, straight ahead, it doesn't matter to them because if they hit you, YOU are at fault!!! Needless to say, I am against bicycles on the road. Because of NO ENFORCEMENT OF THE LAWS!!!
Larissa Dudkiewicz April 03, 2012 at 08:39 PM
Do you think we should build more bike lanes into our roadways? I tend to think there are many drivers out there who don't know how to share the road.

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