Friday, November 30, 2012

Bicycling Police Officer Deals With Narrow Lane, Impatient Motorist

Below is a wonderful video of a police officer in Florida properly demonstrating how to ride in a narrow lane of traffic, one less than 14' wide.  He takes it.  In such a circumstance it is unsafe to ride far to the right.  Doing so invites motorists to pass you without switching lanes, nearly guaranteeing many close calls.  When you find yourself getting buzzed by passing drivers you should move to farther to the left, taking more of the lane.  If a motorist wants to pass, he or she will need to switch lanes to allow for a safe passing distance.  This is completely legal in Illinois.  The relevant statute requires bicyclists to ride as far to the right as is "practicable and safe." 625 ILCS 5/11-1505  The same statute states that bicyclists need not ride to the right when "substandard width lanes . . . make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge. For purposes of this subsection, a 'substandard width lane' means a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle or motorized pedal cycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane."

In the video, the officer also does a nice job of demonstrating one proper and legal way to make a left turn utilizing a left turn lane.  But the best thing about this video is the dopey motorist who decides he hates having a bicyclist in front of him and apparently does not realize that the cyclist is a cop.  How sweet would it be to have a badge to flash at the next motorist who lays on his horn from behind you?  Enjoy:

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