Pennsylvania’s Bike Safety Law In Effect
March saw the enactment of Pennsylvania’s anti-texting law. Continuing the effort to improve safety for all Pennsylvania residents riding the state’s highways, Governor Tom Corbett enacted another safety law in April – the bike safety law. Noting that biking is great exercise and an efficient mode of transportation, state Rep. Ron Miller, R-York sponsored the law that went into effect April 2.
“We need to do all that we can to promote the activity and protect bike enthusiasts through legislation that makes it safer for them to enjoy their sport,” said Miller in an article in the Morning Call.
The bike safety law requires motorists to leave a 4-foot “cushion of safety” when passing a bicyclist. The motorist can cross the center line when passing the cyclist as long as it is safe. In addition, the new law calls for bicyclists “to use all reasonable efforts to avoid impeding the normal flow of traffic.” The law notes that when there is only one travel lane, bicyclists may use any portion of the lane to avoid hazards on the roadway, including maintaining a safe distance from stopped and parked cars.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2009, the most current year of statistics, 630 bicyclists were killed and another 51,000 were injured in traffic crashes in the United States. In Pennsylvania in 2009, 15 cyclists died in a crash with an automobile. Bicyclist deaths accounted for 2 percent of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities, and made up 2 percent of all the people injured in traffic crashes during the year.
“Adopting the ‘safe passing’ amendment to the state’s traffic laws is certain to reduce injuries and save lives among Pennsylvania cyclists,” said Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys Managing Partner Caroline Munley.
While the law focuses on ensuring motorists give bicyclists sufficient room to maneuver, and will fine motorists for non-compliance, the law also calls for cyclists to follow all appropriate traffic laws and to give motorists ample room when they pass.
A cyclist injured in a crash with a motor vehicle may have the right to compensation for medical expenses, loss of wages, pain and suffering and other related damages. Contacting an experienced bicycle-car accident attorney immediately is critical to ensuring you get the compensation you deserve.
About Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys
Munley Law is a Pennsylvania accident and injury law firm that represents car accident victims and their families throughout the state of Pennsylvania and the Northeast, including those injured in accidents that involve speeding, distracted driving, drunk driving, fatigued driving, aggressive driving and careless driving in hazardous weather conditions. The Pennsylvania personal injury law firm’s additional practice areas include trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, toxic chemicals, workplace injuries, nursing home litigation and other serious accidents. To contact the law firm, use the firm’s online contact form.
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