Advocacy & Safety - Exemplary Driver's Manual for bicycling issues
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The Human Car
05-21-08, 08:04 AM
MVA is now soliciting input for a revised Driver's Manual. So if there is a good one out there I would love to see it (and it makes a stronger case for us if a particular wording is already in place.)
Our current Driver's Manual: http://www.marylandmva.com/Resources/DL-002B.pdf
The California Driver's Handbook (summary of the Vehicle Code) is pretty good on bicycle issues.
The Human Car
05-21-08, 07:48 PM
Thanks for the link and there is some nice stuff in there for sure but ...
Bicyclists: ... must ride in a straight line as near to the right curb or edge of the roadway as practical— not on the sidewalk.
MD's stay right law only applies if you are going slower then the speed limit and if the lane is wide (very, very rare) just to name some of the exceptions. I have a lot of reluctance telling motorist that cyclists "must" do something that in practice is no where near being a typical situation or a situation that they'll even encounter.
What I am thinking is saying something like:
There are three primary positions on on the road for bicyclists and mopeds:
1) Center of the lane
2) Right tire track
3) Just to the right of the travel lane when there is ample room.
05-22-08, 01:27 AM
MD's stay right law only applies if you are going slower then the speed limit and if the lane is wide (very, very rare) just to name some of the exceptions.
That's a good point. I was surprised to see that California's driver manual omits these exceptions. However, California also has a separate web page of Safety Tips for Bicyclists and Motorists (http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/brochures/fast_facts/ffdl37.htm) which says:
If there is no shoulder or bicycle lane and the traffic lane is narrow, ride closer to the center of the lane. This will prevent motorists from passing you when there is not enough room. You should also take the traffic lane when you are traveling at the same speed as the traffic around you. This will keep you out of motoristsí blind spots and reduce conflicts with right-turning traffic.
The Human Car
05-22-08, 02:36 AM
Does it make ANY sense to only tell bicyclists that they are allowed to take the lane and then tell motorists that it is illegal for bicyclists to take the lane (strongly implied in that Driver's Manual and the driver's manuals are supposed to be understood at the sixth grade reading level so any argument to the contrary violates that grade level of comprehension.)
A few years back I witnessed a motorist going the wrong way on a one way street while most of the motorists just avoided the driver some honked, some cursed through open windows and one tried to block the wrong way drivers progress and in so doing created a more hazardous situation. What I witnessed strongly impressed me as the same thing we experience, if people think you are doing something wrong a certain percentage will take it upon themselves and attempt to enforce the law and in so doing (especially for us) create a more hazardous situation. Therefore I will strongly assert that it is imperative that motorist understand that they should expect us in the travel way so they don't attempt to enforce their limited understanding of the law on us.
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