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Posts Tagged ‘bicycle safety’

Bale of Hay in the Road?

NCWV wrote: This law sounds awful. It is difficult to enforce and in some instances could be dangerous. What about areas where the bicyclists are riding up a two lane road where there is no bike lane going a lot slower than the other traffic. Is a car supposed to cross the yellow line just to pass? The bicyclist shouldn’t be there in the first place. The law should not punish drivers in all cases as it is not always their fault. The whole situation should be solved with education and more bike lanes not with punishment.

“Is a car supposed to cross the yellow line just to pass?”

The short answer is, “Yes”. If the obstacle in the road was a bale of hay or a farm tractor blocking the lane, wouldn’t a motorist cross the yellow line just to get around it? In rural Nevada, most motorists would cross the yellow line at 70 miles per hour and think nothing of it. The alternative in many cases is to come dangerously close to the bicycle rider. It’s a misconception that a motorist can NEVER legally cross the yellow line.

“The bicyclist shouldn’t be there in the first place.”

The only roads where bicycles are prohibited in Nevada are limited access freeways. It would be nice if there were a network of connected bike lanes but today a bicyclist has to share roads without bike lanes to get from point A to point B.

“The law should not punish drivers in all cases as it is not always their fault.”

This is a law governing how close a motorist can come to a bicyclist when passing in an otherwise lawful manner. I’m a motorist and a bicyclist and I can’t imagine a situation where, as a motorist, I would be forced to pass with less than 3 feet clearance. That’s because I can’t imagine a situation in which I would be forced to pass. Is this a “the devil made me do it” situation? In every situation where, as a bicyclist, I “took the lane” and blocked cars from passing me, I delayed motorist behind me less than one minute. In every case, I “took the lane” because the lane was too narrow for us to safely share it side by side.

“The whole situation should be solved with education…”

Exactly! The point of this legislation is to let motorists know that less than three feet is too close. I don’t think anyone is expecting a lot tickets to be written.

“… and more bike lanes…” Amen, brother!

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