Lawmakers in Pennsylvania recently passed a bicycle safety law requiring motorists to give a 4-foot safety cushion when passing cyclists on the road. Governor Tom Corbett signed the new law on February 2, and it went into effect on April 2.
On a two lane road, drivers are permitted to cross the center line to grant the cyclists the 4-foot cushion. If they cannot pass giving the 4-foot cushion, they must yield to the cyclist until they can pass safely. There is also wording in the new law that prohibits motorists from “cutting sharply” into a cyclists path while turning.
“The differential in speed is the biggest safety challenge with motor vehicles and bicycles sharing our state’s roadways,” says Pennsylvania 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.”
It is good to see the state legislature taking a proactive stance towards protecting both cyclists and motorists with this new law. Every state should look into enacting a similar law, especially those with growing cyclist communities. The California Legislature is working on a 3-foot passing bill, and proponents hope to present it to the governor in the near future.
Dudek Law Firm, APC—San Diego wrongful death attorney.