Pennsylvania passes four-foot passing law

With the signature of Governor Tom Corbett, our home state of Pennsylvania today became the latest to require motorists to give a cyclist ample space when passing. While most states make do with three feet, Pennsylvania madates four. It also mandates that no vehicle making a turn can interfere with a cyclist continuting straight (a right hook, for example). The law takes effect in 60 days.

Some highlights from HB170:

"The driver of a motor vehicle overtaking a pedalcycle proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the left of the pedalcycle within not less than four feet at a careful and prudent reduced speed."

"Interference with pedalcycles.–No turn by a driver of a motor vehicle shall interfere with a pedalcycle proceeding straight while operating in accordance with Chapter 35 (relating to special vehicles and pedestrians)."

But there’s also this:

"A pedalcycle may be operated at a safe and reasonable speed appropriate for the pedalcycle. A pedalcycle operator shall use reasonable efforts so as not to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic."

Which means lawyers could probably argue that any bicycle on the road is impeding the "normal and reasonable movement of traffic." 

I gues it just comes down to what your definition of "is" is.

I hope the state can educate drivers on the changing traffic rules.



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