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LETTER: Bicyclist urges motorists, bike riders to obey rules of the road

Published: April 26, 2017 1:00 AM

I live, drive and bicycle in Aurora. I am cycling across America this summer, so I spend time on the roads of Portage County and beyond training for my journey. What I have observed is the need for greater adherence to Ohio's motor vehicle laws pertaining to motorists and cyclists.

On Dec. 8, 2016, the Ohio Legislature revised House Bill 154 to amend section 4511.27 (A 1) of the Revised Code to provide that when a motor vehicle passes a bicycle, 3 feet or greater is considered a safe passing distance. The bicycle passing law went into effect March 21.

Two additional legalities: Motorists passing to the left should not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle (Ohio Revised Code: 4511.27) and motorists may pass to the left of the center of the roadway if the left side is clearly visible and is free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead (Ohio Revised Code: 4511.29).

Likewise, Ohio Revised Code: 4511.55 requires cyclists to follow the "rules of the road." Cyclists should be as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable, and the law further states that a cyclist does not have to ride along the side of the lane when it is "unreasonable or unsafe to do so," such as when it is necessary to avoid: fixed objects or parked cars, surface hazards, moving vehicles, and if the lane is too narrow for the bicycle and overtaking vehicle to travel safely side by wide within the lane.

(Note: Section 373.07 of the codified Ordinances of Aurora is identical to Ohio Revised Code: 4511.55).

With a greater understanding and adherence to Ohio motor vehicle laws, both cyclists and motorists can safely and comfortably share the roads.

Susan G. Paul, Aurora


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