Four Foot Passing Law Goes into Effect on Monday, April 2

On Monday, April 2, 2012 the Four Foot Safe Passing Law will go into effect. The law requires that:
  • Bicycles must be operated in the right hand lane, or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of roadway.
  • This does not apply to a bicycle using any portion of the road due to unsafe surface conditions.
  • Motorists must overtake a bicycle with no less than four feet between the vehicle and the bicycle and at a “prudent reduced speed”.
  • No turn by a motorist may interfere with a bicycle proceeding straight.
  • Bicycles may be operated at a safe and reasonable speed appropriate for bicycles.
This further codifies the rights of bicyclists to be present in the roadway.  It also makes it safer for bicyclists to be on the roadway.  Of course, the law itself will only act as a catalyst for changing the habits of motorists; both the motoring and bicycling community must be sure to act responsibly and follow all the laws governing our roadways to ensure a safe environment for all roadway uses.
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5 Responses to Four Foot Passing Law Goes into Effect on Monday, April 2

  1. J Sciulli says:

    What about laws where bicyclists shouldn’t dash between cars in running lanes, or turn left in front of cars going straight? Just this morning on a narrow Philly downtown street I had a biker squeeze between the driving and parked lanes in no more than two to three feet of clearance, a common occurrence any day of the week. When are the cyclists going to take responsibility for their recklessness? What’s really need is red-light camera enforcement for cyclists blowing through stop lights without so much as a slow-down. There really needs to be much tough enforcement on those cyclists that violate every rule of common sense, let alone the rules of the road – the vast majority of the ones encountered during the morning and evening rush hours – and not treat them as such a privileged class.

  2. Eric Brozell says:

    Bicyclists are a privileged class? This is very funny. As a bicyclist for about fifty years there have been many things that I have noticed with the operation of both cars and bicyclists. Many cars will breeze closely by a bicyclist without a thought. So what happens if a bicyclist must make a quick maneuver to avoid hitting a pedestrian, pothole or debris on the street?
    As far as the four foot passing law, it is sad that we even have to enact such a law. It is common sense that motorists would provide enough space that they would be able to avoid hitting cyclists. The safety of bicyclists will not really improve unless Pennsylvania provides education for motorists in reference to this new law.

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  4. George Scott says:

    This law does not give bicycles any more than what they had before. It’s for the people that get to close when they pass in a car. As far as cutting off car and riding in a unsafe manor, mabye they should raise the fines for bicycles other than $10 dollars and the police will start enforcing them.

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