A new North Carolina law, effective on October 1st, will give cyclists more freedom and motorists more clarity as to how to share the road with bikes.
The following is included in North Carolina’s new HB959 (House Bill 959):
- Cyclist may use full lane
- Vehicles can legally pass on a double solid line
- Vehicles must give 4 feet when passing or it’s considered Reckless Driving
The new bill came about after groups like BikeWalk NC put increased pressure on state legislature to make cycling safer throughout the sate – especially given the fact that an average of 19 cyclists die and more than 600 are hurt on North Carolina streets and highways each year.
As the law currently stands, if the center line is solid white or double yellow, drivers who pass cyclists would be passing illegally.
On Oct. 1, the state law will change so drivers will have the ability to pass slower-moving bicycles or mopeds in no-passing zones – as long as the motorist gives at least 4 feet of space to the cyclist.
The new bill also includes stiffer penalties, higher fines, and a greater chance of losing your driver’s licence for violations against cyclists.