New Georgia law protects bicyclists and motorists

By Roslyn Giles

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM)- Governor Nathan Deal is expected to sign a bill into law today that strengthens state code for bicyclists and motorists.  "The Better Bicycling Bill" addresses several issues relating to riding a bike along Georgia roadways.

The most significant portion is listed in a Senate amendment to the bill which defines three feet as the minimum safe passing distance for motor vehicles overtaking cyclists. The process of passing bicyclists too close is called, "buzzing." It is a serious factor in causing bicycle crashes.

House Bill 101 also makes it lawful to sale and use clipless pedals and recumbent-style bicycles—both are widely used in the state, but are currently against the law in Georgia. The legislation also updates bicyclist's right of way in dedicated bike lanes, establishes minimum guidelines for bicycle lanes and clarifies circumstances under which a cyclist may take the full travel lane due to unsafe conditions or obstructions.

A state advocate group called, Georgia Bikes pushed for the passage of the laws. The board members and staff will join the Governor for the signing ceremony at the capitol building at 4:30 p.m. this afternoon.