In Baltimore, Annapolis, the District of Columbia, and other municipalities across Maryland and the surrounding area, more and more people are riding bicycles as a way to reduce commuting costs and lead healthier lives. As a bicycle accident attorney and experienced personal injury lawyer, I know the freedom and invigoration that bike riding provides many in our community.
Unfortunately, with more people bicycling to work and school, the potential for bodily injury may also be on the rise. It’s not unusual for a rider to sustain broken bones and lacerations as a result of a collision with a motor vehicle, such as a passenger car, SUV or delivery truck. Instances of car-bike accidents usually increase with the higher traffic density found in medium and large metropolitan areas.
In an effort to alleviate, or at least limit the potential for traffic accidents involving bicyclists, our state legislature is doing its part to help cyclists have more rights on publics roads. According to news reports, the Maryland Senate this recently approved a measure requiring motorists to give bicycles, scooters and other personal transportation devices, such as Segways, at least three feet of space whenever possible.
Currently, passenger car drivers and operators of other motor vehicles are required to exercise “due care” when passing people on bicycles, however the Senate wanted the law to be more specific when it comes to two-wheel and personal transportation. As part of the proposed legislation, a measure has been included that would direct drivers to yield right-of-way at intersections when a cyclist is in a designated bike lane or lawfully riding on the shoulder.
Violation of these new proposed rules would result in a misdemeanor with an associated maximum fine of $500.
Senate wants drivers to move over for cyclists, BaltimoreSun.com, February 11, 2010