How To Safely Pass A Bicyclist

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MARYLAND - The Frederick County Sheriff's Department is reminding Maryland drivers of some basic rules for sharing the road with bicyclists.

Frederick County, like much of the state, has many narrow road with double yellow lines and low traffic that are popular with bicyclists.  Often times, cyclists will use the full lane on these roads and ride in the middle of the roadway. However, narrow lanes mean it's impossible to pass bicyclists and still maintain a safe distance of three feet without crossing the double yellow line.

In Maryland, it is now legal to cross a double yellow line, as long as it is safe to do so, to pass a bicyclist.

When a motorist encounters a bicyclist they wish to pass, they should first slow down. Then check to make sure there's enough room to cross the double yellow line without putting other motorists at risk.  Do not attempt to pass until all oncoming traffic has cleared. Also, make sure there's a clear line of sight. If you can't see around a curve or over a hill, don't pass.

If the road ahead is clear, proceed with caution. Make sure to give the bicyclist plenty of room.  After you pass, make sure you are clear of the bicycle before going back to your lane or making a turn. The bike has the right of way.

The sheriff's office also reminds drivers to keep an eye out for kids on bikes. Their behavior is sometimes unpredictable, so expect the unexpected and stick to speed limits.

It's important for drivers and bicyclists to respect each other. We all have the right to share Maryland's roads.

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