The Wyoming Highway Patrol is reminding everyone of a new law that took effect on July 1st. The new three foot safety zone when passing bicyclists states “The driver of a motor vehicle overtaking and passing a bicycle, which is operating lawfully, proceeding in the same direction shall, when space allows, maintain at least a three (3) foot separation between the right side of the driver’s motor vehicle, including all mirrors and other projections from the motor vehicle, and the bicycle.”
This new statute is safety oriented and is designed to help reduce bicycle related injury and fatal crashes. The WHP is committed to highway safety and this law will become an integral part of our mission to serve and protect all people in Wyoming with courtesy, professionalism and integrity.
Interim WHP Administrator Shannon Ratliff stated “In Wyoming, bicyclists have the same right to operate on our roadways as folks operating motor vehicles. Our main focus, however, is to ensure it’s done safely. The WHP believes this law provides for a necessary buffer between bicycles and vehicles, and that it makes everyone accountable for safety. While we are absolutely committed to education and awareness, clear-cut violations may necessitate enforcement action.”
Motorists are not the only responsible party in bicycle safety. Bicyclists need to remember that their safety is also in their own hands. Bicyclists should always ride with traffic, as far to the right as practical, while watching for vehicles pulling out from the curb and for car doors opening in your path. Bicyclists must also obey traffic laws such as stop signs, traffic signals and travel lane markings. Helmet use and wearing high visible clothing also increase a bicyclist’s safety. If riding at night, use a white front light, a red rear flashing light and wear reflective tape or clothing.
This new law does carry an enforceable fine of $70.00. Remember, Don’t Compete, Give Them Three Feet!