Thursday, July 2, 2015

New Bike-related laws effective July 1

Among new Virginia laws that went into effect on July 1 are two that are bicycle-related. 46.2-816 was modified to ensure that motorists don't follow a bicyclist too closely by removing a single word, "motor" before the second occurrence of the word vehicle:
 46.2-816. Following too closely. The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard to the speed of both vehicles and the traffic on, and conditions of, the highway at the time.
The second law, 46.2-804, now allows a motorist to safely pass a bicyclist by crossing the solid yellow line. The change is official recognition of common behavior by motorists:
46.2-804. Special regulations applicable on highways laned for traffic. Wherever a highway is marked with double traffic lines consisting of two immediately adjacent solid yellow lines, no vehicle shall be driven to the left of such lines, except (i) when turning left or (ii) in order to pass a pedestrian or a device moved by human power, including a bicycle, skateboard, or foot-scooter, provided such movement can be made safely;

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