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New Legal Updates Related to Cyclist.... from a Le...
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1. Bicycles

Every day we see different opinions as to what is right and what is wrong especially with the increase in number of bicycles.

The following changes were made to Chapter 20 of the General Statutes to make them applicable to bicycles (guess if you want to be considered a big boy on the roads, you will now have to be responsible.)

A. NCGS §20-129(e) effective December 1, 2016, is amended to require:

Every bike on a PVA, public street or greenways must have a reflex mirror on the rear AND when operated at night must have BOTH a lamp on the front visible at least 300 feet in front of the bicycle and a red light that is viewable at least 300 feet away from the bike. In lieu of the rear light the bike rider must wear bright clothing/vest that can be seen from not less than 300 feet away from the bike.

B. NCGS §20-150(e), §20-149(a) and §20-154 are amended effective 1 October 2016 to require:

(1) §20-150(e)

The prohibition against passing where prohibited by signs, markers or markings DOES NOT apply when the slower vehicle is a bicycle or moped; the bicycle or moped is going in the same direction as the faster vehicle; the driver of the faster vehicle can provide either a minimum of 4 feet between the faster and slower vehicle as passing or completely gets into the left lane when passing; the slower vehicle is not making or is not signaling a left turn; and the driver of the faster vehicle complies with all other provisions of §20-150.

(2) §20-149(a)

When passing another vehicle, the faster vehicle shall provide at least 2 feet of clearance on the left of the slower vehicle and shall not return to the original lane until can safely do so.

(3) §20-154

(a1) If a driver violates subsection (a) and causes a bicycle or motorcycle operator to change lanes or get off the road will be charged with an infraction with a fine not less than $200. If the violation of subsection (a) causes a crash causing personal property damage or personal injury the infraction shall include a fine of not less than $500.

(a2) If the violation of subsection (a) causes property damage greater than $5,000 or serious bodily injury as defined by §20-160.1(b) to a motorcycle, bicycle operator or passenger shall be responsible for an infraction and a fine of not less than $750. For points assessment it will be treated as a failure to yield the right of way to a motorcycle or bicycle. Additionally, the judge may suspend the vehicle operator license for up to 30 days but a limited driving privilege may be granted during the suspension.

(b) (Turn signals shall apply to bicycle operators). Except as noted in (b1) hand signals for a left turn shall the left arm and hand horizontal with forefinger (index) pointing left; right turn shall be by left upper arm horizontal and forearm and hand pointing upward; and stopping shall be signaled by left upper arm horizontal and forearm and hand pointing downward. All hand and arm signals shall be given from the left side of the vehicle and all signals shall be maintained or given continuously for the last 100 feet traveled prior to stopping or making a turn. Provided, that in all areas where the speed limit is 45 miles per hour or higher and the operator intends to turn from a direct line of travel, a signal of intention to turn from a direct line of travel shall be given continuously during the last 200 feet traveled before turning.

(b1) In addition to the requirements of subsection (b), a bicycle operator can signal a right turn by extending right arm and hand and pointing to the right. (Oh I can see where this could be trouble)

Thomas F.
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