Advocacy & Safety - Minimum speed limit?
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08-25-08, 09:47 PM
Please forgive my impatience. I have not seen any threads that found any thread titles that specifically discuss this and one thread I found discussed it, but did not answer the question.
I know a minimum speed limit applies when it is posted such as on highways, where it is usually 45 MPH.
However, I question this because I ride in the road and there are times, mostly when it is windy or when the speed limit is is at speeds I can not get up to. Especially today--when it was windy--it made it very hard to pedal for me. I understand that bikes have a right to be in the road. However, most motorists don't know this, and I'd also like to make sure I'm not in the wrong when going slower than average (for me) in the road. My guestimation would be 8-15 MPH (max) when I'm talking "slow".
08-26-08, 12:00 AM
I have only seen posted minimum speed limits on interstate highways that are prohibited to bicyclists.
08-26-08, 02:59 AM
Some other main roads around here have posted minimum speed limits, and some states may have a blanket minimum, typical 15-20 mph below the posted. HOWEVER at least in NC bicycles are exempt from the minimum speed limit laws, but are expected to follow all the others that pertain to motor vehicles.
08-26-08, 05:23 AM
In general, search on "uniform vehicle code" and then your subject, such as "minimum speed."
I find in a summary:
"Basic Speed Rule. The Basic Speed Rule requires vehicle operators to drive at a speed that is reasonable and prudent. As a corollary to this rule, State laws usually provide that "every person shall drive at a safe and appropriate speed when approaching and crossing an intersection or railroad grade crossing, when approaching an going around and curve, when approaching a hill crest, when traveling upon any narrow or winding roadway, and when special hazards exist with respect to pedestrians or other traffic or by reason of weather or highway conditions." See Uniform Vehicle Code §11-801.
Minimum Speed Rule. The Minimum Speed Rule prohibits a person from operating a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic. However, in order to avoid a possible conflict with the basic speed rule, the law normally provides that a slow speed is permissible when "reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law." See Uniform Vehicle Code §11-805(a)."
At least the UVC distinguishes motor vehicles from non-motor vehicles wrt minimum reasonable speeds.
A quick scan of this summary brings up a few other fun OT aspects:
"Racing on the Highway. "Racing on the highway" is usually defined as driving "any vehicle in any race, speed competition or contest, drag race or acceleration contest, test of physical endurance, exhibition of speed or acceleration, or for the purpose of making a speed record." See Uniform Vehicle Code §11-809(a)."
Have to wonder if a bicycle is a "vehicle" or just as all the rights and responsibilities thereof. Could well be that racing bicycles on an open course - which some organizations do - might violate the law in some states, depending on their exact implementation of the law and whatever cases have defined for that state. Given the negligence per se aspect of liability, racing a bicycle on an open road might be slightly less attractive in such states.
"Reckless Driving. "Reckless driving" is normally defined as driving "any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property." See Uniform Vehicle Code §11-901(a). Note: Speed is not necessarily a factor in this offense."
Were I a constable here, I would be issuing 2 to 5 tickets for this a week around here. Only rarely to cyclists!
08-26-08, 07:04 AM
In NC when we were running sanctioned races on open roadways we were expected to notify the local authorities. IIRC it was merely a formality. Most of our time trials were out and backs and seldom drew more than a couple of dozen riders. We ran them on lonely country roads to minimize the interaction with traffic.
08-26-08, 08:25 AM
If the Basic Speed Rule requires vehicle operators to drive at a speed that is reasonable and prudent, and a bicycle is permitted to use the road, then a reasonable and prudent speed for a bicycle would be much lower than it would be for a motor vehicle.
08-26-08, 10:59 AM
There is some guidance in the Ohio Revised Code allowing for passing bicycles and other slow vehicles in what would otherwise be no-passing zones. It makes the distinction when the slower vehicle is going at less than half the posted limit.
Found at http://www.ohiobike.org/bicycle-law-digest.html
§4511.31. Hazardous zones
(A) The department of transportation may determine those portions of any state highway where overtaking and passing other traffic or driving to the left of the center or center line of the roadway would be especially hazardous and may, by appropriate signs or markings on the highway, indicate the beginning and end of such zones. …
(B) Division (A) of this section does not apply when all of the following apply:
(1) The slower vehicle is proceeding at less than half the speed of the speed limit applicable to that location.
(2) The faster vehicle is capable of overtaking and passing the slower vehicle without exceeding the speed limit.
(3) There is sufficient clear sight distance to the left of the center or center line of the roadway to meet the overtaking and passing provisions of section 4511.29 of the Revised Code, considering the speed of the slower vehicle.
Comment: Section 4511.31(B) should help reduce tension between cyclists and faster drivers. Now, they can pass in "no passing" zones IF passing is safe.
08-26-08, 10:56 PM
There is some guidance in the Ohio Revised Code allowing for passing bicycles and other slow vehicles in what would otherwise be no-passing zones. It makes the distinction when the slower vehicle is going at less than half the posted limit.I hate it when drivers will not pass. Around here, they've lowered the speed limits on most small rural roads to 35mph. So typically I would be doing more than half the posted speed. Forcing motorists to drive behind us in no passing zones seems like a very bad thing. Of course, that's never enforced as far as I know.
I believe that bicyclists are exempt from minimum speed limit laws, as long as the follow the spirit of the cycling - specific laws.
disclaimer - I'm not a lawyer or your local cop
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