February 3, 2012 – Pennsylvania enacted a new bicycle safety law on Thursday, February 2, 2012. The new law now requires motorists to allow at least four feet of space between their vehicle and a bicycle when passing a bicyclist.
The law also makes it legal for a driver to cross a double yellow line into an opposing lane of traffic, when necessary to allow for the four feet clearance when passing a bicyclist on the right. If there is oncoming cars in the other direction, the motorist would have to wait until it is safe to pass the bicyclist and provide the mandated four feet clearance.
The law further allows a bicyclist to ride slower on the road than the posted maximum speed, and makes it illegal for a vehicle to cut off a bicyclist when the motorist is turning right.
The law become effective in sixty (60) days and is deisgned to reduce injuries which frequently do occur when a bicyclist and driver are involved in a car wreck or car accident. Harrisburg and Central Pennsylvania tend to have more of these types of injury causing accidents due to the rural nature of the area.