Move over: time to share the roadPublished 6:05pm Wednesday, October 2, 2013
This weekend, expect to see many vehicles on the road: many two-wheeled, single-rider vehicles. Though many people wouldn’t refer to bicycles as vehicles, according to North Carolina state law, they are, and they are required to obey all the rules of the road that apply to drivers of motor vehicles.
But there are a few assumptions that many drivers make about cyclists: that they use bike lanes and ride single file. Not true. Because cyclists, for the most part, move slower than other traffic on the road, yes, they are required to ride in the right lane (if applicable), but no, there is no law that says they have to ride single file. In fact, the law says that as bicycles are vehicles, they are given use of the entire lane. Riding in groups is not prohibited.
Now, sometimes we run into problems on two-lane roads: a cyclist or group of cyclists is travelling slower than the motor vehicle traffic. The urge to pass is strong. But just as you would never dream of passing a slow-moving care in front of you without changing lanes entirely, you should also never pass cyclists without changing lanes entirely too. Playing it safe it better than being sorry.
For the cyclists’ part, they should yield to your passing vehicle, though they are not required to move to the far right of the lane.
The roads will be a little more crowded, a little more congested over the weekend, but we still need to give our out-of-town visitors a warm, eastern North Carolina welcome. And the best way to do that is to share our hospitality and our roads.