As temperatures climb in West Virginia, motorists are more likely to encounter bicycle riders. Be sure you know the laws that govern bicycle riders and your interaction with them.
Passing Bicycle Riders
When you are driving a motor vehicle and will be passing a bicyclist, West Virginia Law requires that you pass on the left at least three feet from the cyclist at a reduced speed. You cannot drive on the right side of the roadway until you safely clear the bicycle. For those traveling a narrow, two-lane road, you may cross a double yellow line in order to allow the three feet clearance as long as roadway conditions allow and you should have a clear line of sight to avoid oncoming vehicles.
Here are a few more tips for sharing the road with bicyclists.
• You may have noticed the narrow lanes to the right of many roads in the Charleston, West Virginia area. These are specially designed bicycle lanes and are not to be used for motor vehicle traffic, even when bicycles are not present.
• When cyclists are traveling in these lanes, or on any road, they are governed by the same laws as motor vehicles.
• Drivers should look carefully for cyclists before turning right and merge safely toward the curb or into the bike lane. Do not pass a cyclist just before making a right turn.
• Befor e passing a cyclist in a narrow traffic lane, wait until the traffic is clear in the opposite lane, and then change lanes to pass the cyclist. Do not attempt to squeeze past the cyclist.
By being alert on the road, motorists and cyclists can safely share the road. Be sure to check your local city or county ordinances regarding bicycle laws.