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Know the Law – Statewide Bicyclist Passing Law

Posted at 9:00 AM, May 19, 2018

Creating a Michigan Bike Passing Law

We are at that time of the year where we are beginning to see more bicyclists out on city and country roads. Drivers are required to follow certain laws in regards to bicyclists. Over the past couple of years, the city of Grand Rapids has created an ordinance which requires drivers to allow for 5-feet of room when passing a bicyclist on the left.

There are other cities across the state of Michigan that have similar ordinances as well. What we do not have is a Michigan bike passing law. However, thanks to a big push from bicycle advocates, the Michigan legislature has introduced a bill to do just that.

3-foot Proposal for a Michigan Bike Passing Law

House Bill 4265 would create a uniform 3-foot Michigan bike passing law. As the bill is written, if you are going to pass a bicyclist in your car, you have to leave 3-feet of room between your car and the bicyclist, as long as it is practicable.

Although it is still too early to tell what is going to happen with the Michigan bike passing law, this does remind us to think about how important it is for drivers to stay aware of bicyclists. We are all required to drive our motor vehicles safely. Hitting a bicyclist and causing an accident can be a criminal violation.

Bicyclists Can Receive Michigan No-Fault Benefits

Bicyclists who are struck by a motor vehicle have a cause of action against the driver who struck them. More importantly, bicyclists are able to receive Michigan no-fault benefits if they are hit by a motor vehicle. Most people do not know this because a bicycle is not considered to be a motor vehicle. When a bicyclist strikes another car though, it becomes a motor vehicle, no matter who is at-fault.

We must always remember to keep a safe distance when passing a bicyclist on the road in order to keep everyone safe.