Rules of the road for motorists and bikes remain unchanged

15 Sep Rules of the road for motorists and bikes remain unchanged

A House Transportation Subcommittee put the brakes on Virginia Senate bill 928, a measure that would increase required clearance from 2 feet to 3 feet when motor vehicles pass bicycles on the road. The bill, introduced by Sen. Ryan T. McDougle (R-Hanover), was intended to make Virginia’s roads safer by strengthening regulations on following too closely and passing other vehicles.

In addition to automobiles, the bill included provisions to ensure that drivers pass at a reasonable speed and distance when overtaking “a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, moped, animal, or animal-drawn vehicle.” Section § 46.2-839 of the Code of Virginia currently requires drivers to pass no less than 2 feet to the left a bicyclist; the new bill would increase this distance to three feet. SB 928 passed the Senate but met a 3-3 roadblock in the House.

In order to “share the road” safely, both parties must drive-and ride-responsibly by the rules. Virginia law currently assigns bicyclists the same “rights and duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle.” The law requires bicyclists to follow the same traffic regulations as motorists and to respect all traffic signs, signals, lights, and markings.

The full text of SB 928 can be found HERE.

Rules of the road for bikers and pedestrians are available from VDOT, HERE.

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