New Virginia law impacting bicyclists, motorists goes into effect Thursday

Virginia News

RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) – The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) wants to remind residents of a new law going into effect on Thursday, requiring motorists to change lanes when passing a bicyclist if the travel lane is not wide enough to allow for a three-foot distance between the vehicle and the bike.

Under the old law, motorists are allowed — but not required — to move into the other lane when passing a bicyclist to provide at least three feet of distance between the bike and the vehicle, according to officials.

The DMV says this provision going into effect on Thursday, July 1 also applies to people riding on an electric personal assistive mobility device, moped, animal, or animal-drawn vehicle.

“This law increases safety for bicyclists by providing more space between them and much larger vehicles when motorists pass on our roadways,” said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb, the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “We all share our roads and we all share the responsibility to look out for each other.”

In addition, officials say the new law removes restrictions on bicyclists riding two abreast, which applies to people riding on an electric personal assistive mobility devices, motorized skateboards, or motorized scooters.

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