Maryland's 3' safe passing law misses the point, repeal the narrow highway exception

Repeal § 21-1209.2.iii

Why?

  • Any piece of safety legislation for cyclists that has people talking about getting the Attorney General to rule just what the heck does it mean, is just wrong. 
  • Any "safety" legislation that MDOT promotes as (paraphrased) if you can't safely pass a cyclist you can still legally pass, is just wrong.

The law as written:
§ 21-1209. Throwing object at bicycle, motor scooter, or EPAMD.
(a) Drivers to exercise due care.- Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, the driver of a vehicle shall: 
.(1) Exercise due care to avoid colliding with any bicycle, EPAMD, or motor scooter being ridden by a person; and 
.(2) When overtaking a bicycle, an EPAMD, or a motor scooter, pass safely at a distance of not less than 3 feet, unless, at the time: 
..(i) The bicycle, EPAMD, or motor scooter rider fails to operate the vehicle in conformance with § 21-1205(a) of this subtitle ("Riding to right side of roadway") or § 21-1205.1(b) of this subtitle ("Roadway with bike lane or shoulder paved to smooth surface"); 
..(ii) A passing clearance of less than 3 feet is caused solely by the bicycle, EPAMD, or motor scooter rider failing to maintain a steady course; or 
..(iii) The highway on which the vehicle is being driven is not wide enough to lawfully pass the bicycle, EPAMD, or motor scooter at a distance of at least 3 feet. 

This is the most offending piece of the law that should be repealed:
..(iii) The highway on which the vehicle is being driven is not wide enough to lawfully pass the bicycle, EPAMD, or motor scooter at a distance of at least 3 feet. 

Sponsor

Baltimore Spokes http://www.baltimorespokes.org

Links

What the 3' law says and doesn't say

http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article.php?story=20101005122814769

History of trying to correct this

http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article.php?story=20130124104353458

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