Driver Advisory for Sunday, August 5th through August 19th 2012
Drivers are to be advised that Pennsylvania’s largest bicycle ride, PedalPGH, will be taking place on Sunday, August 5th from 6am to 2pm. The event is a “shared road” type of event, which means that motorists should be hyper-aware of many more bicyclists on the streets. BikeFest will be taking place until August 19, so drivers should also be aware that they may come upon more “group rides” than usual. Please be patient and pass when it is safe to do so. Pennsylvania law requires a four foot buffer when passing a bicyclist, as well as disallowing a turn in front of the path of a bicyclist proceeding straight.
The responsibility of avoiding crashes lies especially with drivers given that they are the ones operating 4-5,000 lbs. of steel that can go faster and cause more damage than people riding 25 lb. bikes. Drivers must respect the rights of other road users, including bicyclists. Here are some tips on how to be a “bicycle-aware” driver.
1. Obey the law (including the speed limit) and don’t drive aggressively.
2. Eliminate distractions – don’t talk or text on your cell phone. Texting and driving is illegal.
3. Slow down and pass with care. PA law requires a minimum passing buffer of four feet.
4. Look in your side mirror before getting out of your car. There could be a cyclist coming!
5. Stay calm and treat cyclists and walkers with the same respect that you expect.
Even the most experienced bicyclists can get into a crash. Remember, there are many levels of experience for drivers as well. Be sure to check out our Ride Safe section to see the most common car and bicycle crashes and some tips on how to avoid them.
1. Ride predictably and obey the law.
2. Stay out of the door zone and scan ahead for opening doors – especially in bike lanes.
3. Stay vigilant. Many drivers are distracted and aren’t looking out for bicyclists.
4. If riding at night, the law requires that you must have a front headlight and rear reflector. BikePGH recommends you also have a red blinking tail light!
5. Don’t ride on sidewalks in business districts. It’s against the law and dangerous for pedestrians.