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half fast
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PostSun Feb 09, 2020 8:53 am 
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...for bicycle safety   up.gif

Being a pretty avid road biker and having had my a few close calls, I am glad for this...

For those of you who don't ride... the 3 foot passing distance might be something new...


https://www.moveoverwa.org


Changes to RCW46.61.770 Riding on roadways and bicycle paths Old version:(Effective until January 1, 2020.)

Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a rate of speed less than the normal flow of traffic at the particular time and place shall ride as near to the right side of the right through lane as is safe except as may be appropriate while preparing to make or while making turning movements, or while overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.

A person operating a bicycle upon a roadway or highway other than a limited-access highway, which roadway or highway carries traffic in one direction only and has two or more marked traffic lanes, may ride as near to the left side of the left through lane as is safe.

A person operating a bicycle upon a roadway may use the shoulder of the roadway or any specially designated bicycle lane if such exists.(2) Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.Revised version: (Effective January 1, 2020.)

(1) Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a rate of speed less than the normal flow of traffic at the particular time and place shall ride as near to the right side of the right through lane as is safe except:(a) While preparing to make or while making turning movements at an intersection or into a private road or driveway;(b) When approaching an intersection where right turns are permitted and there is a dedicated right turn lane, in which case a person may operate a bicycle in this lane even if the operator does not intend to turn right;

(NEW)(c) While overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction; and(d) When reasonably necessary to avoid unsafe conditions including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, bicyclists, pedestrians, animals, and surface hazards.

(NEW)(2) A person operating a bicycle upon a roadway or highway other than a limited-access highway, which roadway or highway carries traffic in one direction only and has two or more marked traffic lanes, may ride as near to the left side of the left through lane as is safe.(3) A person operating a bicycle upon a roadway may use the shoulder of the roadway or any specially designated bicycle lane.(4) When the operator of a bicycle is using the travel lane of a roadway with only one lane for traffic moving in the direction of travel and it is wide enough for a bicyclist and a vehicle to travel safely side-by-side within it, the bicycle operator shall operate far enough to the right to facilitate the movement of an overtaking vehicle unless other conditions make it unsafe to do so unless the bicyclist is preparing to make a turning movement or while making a turning movement.

(NEW)(5) Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.

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neek
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PostSun Feb 09, 2020 9:05 am 
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Looks like a good clarification of common strategies. Thanks for posting. Can't wait to get back on the saddle.
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PostSun Feb 09, 2020 7:30 pm 
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neek wrote:
Looks like a good clarification of common strategies.

One would think that these are common strategies... well at least for bikers anyway.

What I liked is that now it is the law to allow at least three feet before passing someone and punishable with a ticket and fine.

About two months ago I was riding on a back country 50 mph road with no shoulder and a deep ditch 6 inches off the white line.  For the record I always ride the white line when there is no shoulder. A double tanker truck passed me less than 12 inches from my roadside shoulder.  The air flow of the truck and then the trailer was pulling me towards it.  I was clipped in on my bike and it was all I could do to keep me from being sucked into the truck and then the trailer.  I honestly thought that I would no doubt be killed or at the very least very injured.  I called the police when I got to a safe place to make the call and got my heart calmed down.  Before this there was no recourse.  I am glad there is now.

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Cyclopath
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PostSun Feb 09, 2020 8:00 pm 
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It sounds like the new section of law clarifies that bikes can take the lane to prevent unsafe passes.   up.gif

Do people really ride all the way to the left on divided multi lane roads?  That would never even occur to me.
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catsp
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PostMon Feb 10, 2020 9:46 am 
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The 3 foot distance is in a different section, RCW 46.61.110:

"The following rules shall govern the overtaking and passing of vehicles proceeding in the same direction:
...

(2)(a) The driver of a vehicle approaching an individual who is traveling as a pedestrian or on a bicycle, riding an animal, or using a farm tractor or implement of husbandry without an enclosed shell, and who is traveling in the right lane of a roadway or on the right-hand shoulder or bicycle lane of the roadway, shall:

(i) On a roadway with two lanes or more for traffic moving in the direction of travel, before passing and until safely clear of the individual, move completely into a lane to the left of the right lane when it is safe to do so;

(ii) On a roadway with only one lane for traffic moving in the direction of travel:

(A) When there is sufficient room to the left of the individual in the lane for traffic moving in the direction of travel, before passing and until safely clear of the individual:

(I) Reduce speed to a safe speed for passing relative to the speed of the individual; and

(II) Pass at a safe distance, where practicable of at least three feet, to clearly avoid coming into contact with the individual or the individual's vehicle or animal; or

(B) When there is insufficient room to the left of the individual in the lane for traffic moving in the direction of travel to comply with (a)(ii)(A) of this subsection, before passing and until safely clear of the individual, move completely into the lane for traffic moving in the opposite direction when it is safe to do so and in compliance with RCW 46.61.120 and 46.61.125."

...

Interesting. If I'm reading it correctly, section (2)(a)(i) seems to require moving over entirely into the next lane if a bicycle or person walking (or even a person using an implement of animal husbandry w/o an enclosed shell) is in a bike lane. Could this really be what is intended?

For section (2)(a)(ii)(A)(II), it seems the 3 feet is not hard and fast, but only when "practicable."

For section (2)(a)(ii)(A)(II), if I am reading it correctly, if the lane isn't big enough to pass, you must move entirely into the lane for opposite direction travel (and not just part way).
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PostMon Feb 10, 2020 10:58 am 
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catsp wrote:
...Could this really be what is intended?

Quoted from the link in the original post...

"Washington state has a new safe passing law. When passing a vulnerable road user, vehicles must give at least three feet or move entirely into the adjacent lane if there is one. The new law is in effect from January 1, 2020. Drivers who donít move over can be ticketed and fined."

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PostMon Feb 10, 2020 11:20 am 
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half fast wrote:
catsp wrote:
...Could this really be what is intended?

Quoted from the link in the original post...

"Washington state has a new safe passing law. When passing a vulnerable road user, vehicles must give at least three feet or move entirely into the adjacent lane if there is one. The new law is in effect from January 1, 2020. Drivers who donít move over can be ticketed and fined."

Maybe I'm misreading it, but it doesn't appear that the quote from moveoverwa accurately reflects the language of the law. But that wasn't the issue I was addressing with my "could this really be what is intended?" comment. By that, I was referring to the part that seems to say that if you are in the right lane with two lanes of travel in your direction, and a cyclist or walker is in a bike lane (or on the shoulder), you must move over one full lane to your left when passing. (In other words, leaving a whole open lane between you and the bike or person essentially on the side of the road).
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