April 20, 2017
If you are cycling the road in Michigan this year, your ride could become significantly safer than it has been. Well, at least if a potential bill gets made into law. This new bill is currently in legislature which would require drivers to give more breathing room to cyclists as well as adding enhanced safety instructions for handling cyclists being included in state driver’s education courses.
The guidelines in question would require drivers to give Michigan road cyclists a set 5-foot buffer when passing them on roads that do not have a set bicycle lane. Currently, the state has no set mandate on how far vehicles needs to be when passing a cyclist. Most people go with the good rule of thumb of “not hitting the cyclist” when passing, but this leads to a number of close calls and terrifying accidents.
Like in most states, these close calls and contentious relationship between cyclists and drivers comes from a lack of knowledge on how to handle road cyclists. By making a five-foot mandatory buffer, it will allow more drivers to know that they can’t pass a cyclist unless they can do it safely. Ultimately, this teaches them that it is not the cyclists’ responsibility to “move over.”
Going a step further, if this buffer is made into law, then it will be taught in driver’s education courses and drivers caught breaking the law may be forced to attend education courses to rectify their mistake.
While this law will cut down on cycling accidents, it likely won’t stop them altogether. However, there are still people out there that represent the rights of cyclists. If you have been in a cycling accident and need legal advice, contact us today.