New Bicycle Safety Laws Enacted

Pennsylvania enacted new bicycle laws on April 2, 2012.

The new bicycle safety law requires motorists to leave a four-foot cushion of safety between their vehicle and any bicyclist they are attempting to pass. The law also allows drivers, where necessary and safe, to cross into the opposite lane to pass a cyclist. Bicycle riders riding at a speed less than posted must do their best to avoid impending traffic by keeping to the right side of the road. If on a one lane road bicyclists are allowed to use any portion of the lane to avoid it's so important that both bicyclists and motorists obey all traffic signs and signals, ride and drive predictably, and signal their intentions when changing a lane or making a turn. And, of course, bicycle riders should always wear a helmet. If a bicyclist is traveling straight on a roadway it is illegal for a driver to turn and interfere with the bike rider. Drivers must yield the right of way to bicyclists traveling in the opposite direction when they are trying to make a left turn. Motorists aren't allowed to force a bicyclist off the road, and drivers who do may face criminal charges.

It is important that motorists and bicyclists obey all traffic signs, signals, operate their vehicles predictably, and signal their intentions when changing lanes or turning.

For bicyclists, remember, always wear a helmet.

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