State Rep. Mike O'Brien
March 30, 2012
Cyclists – get ready for safer roads
Here’s some good news from Harrisburg. A new law I voted for in January will better protect bicyclists and motorists who are sharing the road.
Beginning April 2, drivers will be required to have at least a four-foot space between their vehicles and the bicycles they are passing. Drivers will be permitted to cross the yellow line in order to make the pass if it is safe for them to do so.
The law also makes it illegal for a vehicle to make a right turn that impedes the path of a bicycle, and allows a bicycle to go less than the posted minimum speed and not be cited for impeding traffic. Violators of the law would be charged with a summary offense.
According to PennDOT, 1,485 crashes involving a bicycle were reported throughout the state in 2010, compared to 1,401 in 2009. Pennsylvania was ranked 10th in the nation for its 15 bicycle-related traffic deaths in 2009.
I was happy to vote for this new law that recognizes the safety needs of thousands of residents who use alternative modes of transportation. Pennsylvania now joins 19 other states that have approved safe passing laws for bicyclists.