Thursday, March 31, 2011
Since last October, Maryland law has required motorists to safely overtake a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device (EPAMD) or a motor scooter at a distance of at least three feet.
This passing rule does not apply if the highway on which the vehicle is being driven is not wide enough to lawfully pass the bicycle, EPAMD, or motor scooter at a distance of at least three feet. Additional exceptions are:
- If the bicyclist fails to ride to the right;
- If the bicyclist is in a bike lane; or
- If the bicyclist, EPAMD or scooter doesn’t keep a steady course.
The law now requires vehicle operators to yield the right-of-way to bicyclists riding when entering or crossing occupied bike lanes and shoulders. Bicyclists are no longer required to ride on the shoulder. However, when riding at a speed slower than vehicle traffic, a bicyclist must still ride as near to the right of the roadway as practicable and safe, except when:
- Making or attempting a left turn;
- Riding on a one-way street;
- Passing a stopped or slower-moving vehicle;
- Avoiding pedestrians or road hazards;
- Using a right lane that is a right-turn only lane; or
- Operating in a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and another vehicle to travel safely side-by-side within the lane.
When riding on a sidewalk, where such riding is permitted, a bicyclist may ride in a crosswalk to continue on their route. Motorists are required to yield the right of way to a bicyclist operating lawfully in a crosswalk at a signalized intersection.