Dec 142011
 

You can buy it here: http://www.koobi.com/koobicyclingjersey-2.aspx

Maybe the relevant law in the Maryland Code should be printed on the back in fine print:

Transportation § 21-1209 (a):

(2) When overtaking a bicycle, an EPAMD, or a motor scooter, pass safely at a distance of not less than 3 feet, unless, at the time:

(i) The bicycle, EPAMD, or motor scooter rider fails to operate the vehicle in conformance with § 21-1205(a) of this subtitle (“Riding to right side of roadway”) or § 21-1205.1(b) of this subtitle (“Roadway with bike lane or shoulder paved to smooth surface”);
(ii) A passing clearance of less than 3 feet is caused solely by the bicycle, EPAMD, or motor scooter rider failing to maintain a steady course; or
(iii) 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 3 feet.

In other words, drivers have to give you 3 feet of clearance unless 1) you’re riding further left than you’re allowed to, 2) you’re not holding your line, or 3) the road isn’t wide enough to allow 3 feet of clearance.  The last one weakens the law considerably, meaning that on two-lane roads with narrow lanes (like MacArthur Blvd.) drivers are allowed to get much closer to you.

  2 Responses to “Three foot law jersey”

  1. Jim Titus, WABA board member, has commented on the exception that says, “(iii) 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 3 feet.” He asserts that this means 3′ isn’t required if the road is physically too narrow from edge to edge for a car to pass a cyclist (even if the driver ignores all striping). In practice that means the entire roadway is only 15′ wide from edge to edge (maybe 18′ if the motor vehicle is a bus or dump truck), which is narrow indeed for a two-way street (oncoming cars can barely pass each other).

    My previous interpretation of that exception was that 3′ isn’t required if the road isn’t wide enough to give 3′ when the road is used in accordance with the law. For example, if the driver can’t give 3′ without crossing the double yellow line (which is generally illegal) then he doesn’t have to give 3′ when passing. This means that if the area between the double yellow line and the shoulder is much less than 15′, the 3′ rules doesn’t apply. I’m saying that “is not wide enough” has a built-in assumption that the road is being used lawfully and in the usual way.

    But Jim makes a good point, and has a strong legal argument to back it up. He says that if the legislature wanted to ensure that a car always is
    able to pass a bike without crossing the double yellow line, the statute would have said “lane…is not wide enough” instead of “highway…is not
    wide enough.” I’ll certainly use his argument if I get hit by a driver who doesn’t give me 3′. But I’m still unsure on interpretation. I think my (previous) interpretation is the more typical reading by the average road user (to the extent the average road user even knows the exception exists). No matter who is correct, I think the law needs to be strengthened to remove ambiguity.

  2. I see no exceptions at all to the 3′ rule in Delaware’s new law:
    http://bikedel.blogspot.com/2011/07/its-official-3-foot-passing-law-signed.html . They also say to change lanes to pass.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.