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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Delaware Cyclist Ticketed for Riding His Bike

Have you ever been ticketed…just for riding your bike?
Joe Jackson has.
He was riding on Snuff Mill Road near Centerville last month when he was ticketed for violating a little bit of obscure legal language from Delaware Title 21, §4196. This law says that
“Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand edge of the roadway…”
Snuff Mill Road is only about 18 to 20 feet wide here. (In some places it’s only 17 feet wide!) It doesn’t have any additional shoulder pavement. That 18 to 20 feet of pavement is all there is.
Snuff Mill Road near Centerville where Joe Jackson was ticketed for riding his bike.
Snuff Mill Road near Centerville where Joe Jackson was ticketed for riding his bike. Where would you ride here?
Some cyclists riding on Snuff Mill will crowd over to the right (perhaps to avoid the attention of overzealous police). But no matter where a cyclist rides on a road like this, a car has to (at least partially) exit its travel lane in order to safely pass. That is why it can be unsafe to not ride in the center of a lane – which is exactly where Joe Jackson was riding when he was ticketed. If you are a motorist and you see a cyclist riding “as close as practicable” to the right edge and of the lane, you may mistakenly believe that it is possible to pass the cyclist without (at least partially) changing lanes. The reality is this: you can’t. You must (at least partially) exit your lane and travel in the lane of oncoming traffic while passing.
- See more at: http://www.bikede.org/2014/01/27/delaware-cyclist-ticketed-for-riding-his-bike/

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