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bikes do not impede traffic, we are traffic

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bikes do not impede traffic, we are traffic

Old 12-14-09, 08:50 AM
  #301  
jputnam
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Less so amidst moving motor vehicles also riding on snow (and ice.)
Amen to that, last winter I was sideswiped by a car fishtailing on ice. No bike damage, just a broken hand.

Most of the winter around here, winter gear is fenders and raingear. Today's forecast, low of 37, high of 37, showers, then rain. Lather, rinse, repeat.
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Old 12-14-09, 10:01 AM
  #302  
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Originally Posted by gcottay View Post
Given the cataclysmic legal problems exposed in this thread, I'm left wondering why State of Washington cycling advocacy groups are not sending an alarm and vigorously lobbying for change. Could it be the problem exists only here in the land of this particular forum?
There are no 'cataclysmic legal problems' here. Bek only makes it seem that way. WA law is similar to most States. As ILTB points out the SMV impeding 5 or more in a line law only requires the SMV (including bicycles) to use safe turnouts, and only on 2 lane highways. This is not going to be the case in cities with traffic lights and gridlock. Essentially, this law only applies on country roads.

For this SMV law to apply, there must be 1. a highway, 2. it must have 2 lanes, 3. there must be safe turnouts, 4. there must be a line of 5 or more vehicles you are impeding by going slower than the normal flow of traffic. IOW, it only applies to a situation where all of us but Bek would use the turnout anyway.
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Old 12-14-09, 10:27 AM
  #303  
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Originally Posted by jputnam View Post
I'm not aware of anyone at BAW or CBC lobbying to change this law -- it rarely applies to cyclists since it's usually possible for traffic to pass when a cyclist rides to the right, except on roads so congested that a cyclist isn't really causing much delay.

Certainly it didn't seem controversial when the Seattle Times discussed it with BAW and SDOT and came up with:
Q. I thought I heard that a bicyclist has to pull over when backing up motorized vehicles. Could you please clarify this?
A. You're right. This is another driving law that also applies to bicyclists. It says that a slow-moving vehicle, if delaying five or more vehicles behind it, shall turn off the roadway at a safe turnout in order to permit the vehicles to proceed. Of course, it's still a gray area because the decision on whether a safe opportunity to pull out exists is up to the cyclist.

If there's no safe shoulder or turnout, a cyclist doesn't have to stop the bike and drag it into the brush every time five cars pile up, no matter how badly some drivers want to pass. It all comes back to common sense and courtesy on the road.

But that's just BAW, SDOT, and the traffic reporters from the state's largest newspaper.
You mean SDOT actually said "This is another driving law that also applies to bicyclists."

But this would mean SDOT disagrees with Bek. I wonder if they know that.
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Old 12-14-09, 03:12 PM
  #304  
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Originally Posted by danarnold View Post
You mean SDOT actually said "This is another driving law that also applies to bicyclists."

But this would mean SDOT disagrees with Bek. I wonder if they know that.
oh, and that BAW also disagrees, but maybe they just haven't updated Bek's reading of their website.
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Old 12-14-09, 03:34 PM
  #305  
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When I drive my car in the mountains I like to drive the speed limit (often 35 mph). This frequently leads to lines of cars backed up behind me. When I find a place to pull over, I let the cars pass. It's not so much trying to be nice, as trying to save my life. If I didn't do that, I can expect that at least one of the crazies behind me would try to pass in a very unsafe manner.

I follow the same practice on my bike. Why do you want a bunch of angry speed maniacs stacked up behind you? Just let them go: costs you 30-60 seconds and maybe it saves your life.
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Old 12-14-09, 05:47 PM
  #306  
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Originally Posted by danarnold View Post
Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
This is false and obviously so.

In practice, cyclists show no problem doing this [putting a foot (and unclipping) down to stop]. There's nothing in the nature of a bicycle that keeps this from being practical. Cyclists do this all the time. It takes a long time to "restart" a tractor-trailer too. Therefore, tractor-trailers are allowed to perform a rolling stop?


The legal requirement is the "full stop" (zero speed), nothing more. As safe as they might be performed, "rolling stops" are illegal. There is much less ambiguity in this than the SMV-PO issue!


??? As a percentage of the cycling population, the number of people who can do a track stand for any real length of time is tiny. I'm not requiring anybody to employ trackstanding.
Your last sentence completely refutes your first and the rest of your argument.
You appear to think that the only way one can stop a bicycle is to track stand. That clearly isn't correct.

No contradiction. Most people stop their bicycles without doing a track stand (they unclip and put their foot down, instead). "Track standing" is one method of "stopping" a bicycle. It's not the only one and it's not even the common/usual one used. Since few of all cycists can track stand, using a bicycle doesn't require having to know how to track stand. That means, with respect to the legal requirement of a "full stop", there isn't a legal assumption that a "track stand" is the required method.

Last edited by njkayaker; 12-14-09 at 06:06 PM.
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Old 12-14-09, 05:55 PM
  #307  
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Originally Posted by gcottay View Post
Could it be the problem exists only here in the land of this particular forum?
The problem really only exists in the mind of Bek!

Originally Posted by jputnam View Post
I'm not aware of anyone at BAW or CBC lobbying to change this law -- it rarely applies to cyclists since it's usually possible for traffic to pass when a cyclist rides to the right, except on roads so congested that a cyclist isn't really causing much delay.

Certainly it didn't seem controversial when the Seattle Times discussed it with BAW and SDOT and came up with:
Q. I thought I heard that a bicyclist has to pull over when backing up motorized vehicles. Could you please clarify this?
A. You're right. This is another driving law that also applies to bicyclists. It says that a slow-moving vehicle, if delaying five or more vehicles behind it, shall turn off the roadway at a safe turnout in order to permit the vehicles to proceed. Of course, it's still a gray area because the decision on whether a safe opportunity to pull out exists is up to the cyclist.

If there's no safe shoulder or turnout, a cyclist doesn't have to stop the bike and drag it into the brush every time five cars pile up, no matter how badly some drivers want to pass. It all comes back to common sense and courtesy on the road.

But that's just BAW, SDOT, and the traffic reporters from the state's largest newspaper.
Where's the link to this? If it's true, Bek has clearly lost his argument.
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Old 12-14-09, 06:07 PM
  #308  
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
No contradiction. Most people stop their bicycles without doing a track stand. "Track standing" is one method of "stopping" a bicycle. It's not the only one and it's not the common/usual one used. Since few of all cycists can track stand, using a bicycle doesn't require having to know how to track stand.

You appear to think that the only way one can stop a bicycle is to track stand. That clearly is not correct.
Perhaps I misunderstood you. You are correct, I was thinking of a track stand. I didn't realize there were other methods of stopping while on a bike and keeping both feet on the pedals and both hands on the bars. Please let me know how to stop on my bike without doing a track stand or putting a foot down on the pavement.
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Old 12-14-09, 06:13 PM
  #309  
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Originally Posted by danarnold View Post
Please let me know how to stop on my bike without doing a track stand or putting a foot down on the pavement.
These are two methods. Most people employ the latter one. Presumably, falling over would be a third method! I don't know of any others.
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Old 12-14-09, 06:14 PM
  #310  
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Originally Posted by danarnold View Post
Please let me know how to stop on my bike without doing a track stand or putting a foot down on the pavement.
Hold to a road sign, a lamp post or a double-parked UPS truck?


A.
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Old 12-14-09, 06:26 PM
  #311  
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Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
Hold to a road sign, a lamp post or a double-parked UPS truck?


A.
That is why I made the proviso of keeping both hands on the bars.
I knew there were more wisenheimers out there besides me.

BTW, the original reason this came up was because I'd said the inability for the average cyclist to stop without putting his foot down and therefore having to reclip and start again was to make an argument, however lame, that the 'by its nature' clause might be used to justify a careful, slow rolling stop instead of a dead stop. It would be nice to justify an Idaho law type of stop without having to get the law actually changed.
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Old 12-14-09, 06:37 PM
  #312  
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Fred,
Thank you for your logical explanation of safe bicycle practice. Why do so many of "us" cycllists want to press the issue of "I have the legal right to be here and screw all you automobile people." Using logic will keep you alive longer. Thanks again Fred, I hope others have read your post.
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Old 12-14-09, 06:40 PM
  #313  
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Originally Posted by danarnold View Post
Perhaps I misunderstood you. You are correct, I was thinking of a track stand. I didn't realize there were other methods of stopping while on a bike and keeping both feet on the pedals and both hands on the bars. Please let me know how to stop on my bike without doing a track stand or putting a foot down on the pavement.
One is to start going again before you fall over. Say your come upon a stop sign and see a car for the Royal Constabulary sitting at Ye Olde Donut shoppe on the corner, you come to a technically correct stop, wheels completely stop turning, then you start up again without waiting, you don't need to put a foot down, because the stop time is too short. Best though is to unclip anyway, any problem starting up again and you will fall over.
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Old 12-14-09, 08:11 PM
  #314  
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
Where's the link to this? If it's true, Bek has clearly lost his argument.
https://community.seattletimes.nwsour...g=ontheroad06e


The article also has this useful reality check for motorist complaints about cyclists not getting tickets:

Q. If bicycles are legal vehicles and cyclists have a right to the road, why are they not stopped and ticketed for infractions like running stop signs?
A. King County Sheriff's Sgt. Kevin Fagerstrom admits that law-breaking cyclists are less likely to get pulled over than stop-sign-running drivers. "It's prioritization of work on the part of the police," he said. "Bicycles do not portray a great risk to the motor vehicles as far as injury." Fagerstrom did agree that writing a cyclist a ticket now could prevent a major accident in the future, but going after vehicular violations is a bigger priority for law enforcement. That being said, he's pulled over cyclists before and will do it again.
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Old 12-14-09, 09:39 PM
  #315  
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Bek get banned again? Can't think of anything else that would keep him quiet.
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Old 12-14-09, 09:43 PM
  #316  
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Originally Posted by danarnold View Post
Bek get banned again? Can't think of anything else that would keep him quiet.
Nope.
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Old 12-14-09, 09:45 PM
  #317  
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Originally Posted by AllenG View Post
Nope.
Good. He may be wrong, but he keeps things interesting.
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Old 12-14-09, 09:55 PM
  #318  
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Yeah. It upset me some when he took so long to post again after his ban. I was afraid he may have left the forum--which was not the intent, just to stop posting the same thread calling out Forrester.

Speaking of Forrester, where's he been?
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Old 12-14-09, 10:36 PM
  #319  
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Laws differ across our jurisdictions. I briefly tossed the issue up against my Tennessee laws.

Title 55 Chapter 8 Rules of the Road

“55-8-172. Traffic laws apply to persons riding bicycles — Penalty. —

(a) Every person riding a bicycle upon a roadway is granted all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this chapter and chapter 10, parts 1-5 of this title, except as to special regulations in 55-8-171 — 55-8-177, and except as to those provisions of this chapter and chapter 10, parts 1-5 of this title that by their nature can have no application."

So in Tennessee a bicycle rider gets the rights and responsibilities of a vehicle driver except as superseded by special regulations or direction by regulations that can't apply. This clearly circumscribes the circumstances where bicycle rules may differ from the general rules. Nothing about pulling over in the special regulations. We do have the usual FRP provision in 55-8-175. So unless there's some particular exemption in any other provisions, they'll apply.

Tennessee's impeding traffic law:

“55-8-154. Minimum speed regulation — Turnouts — Passing bays — Penalties. —

(a) No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.”

And there's the specific text slicing bicycles out of the minimum speed regulation – a bicycle can't impede traffic in Tennessee, only a motor vehicle can.

I'm surprised it's so clear. I thought there was a 5 car pullover law. If there is, I couldn't find it this evening.
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Old 12-14-09, 10:53 PM
  #320  
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yes, most states do not have a SMV-I-POR law. those that do, or consider slow moving vehicles an impedence, need to clarify their laws slow SMV-I concepts in statute clearly only apply to motor vehicles.

quoting bicycledriving.org, a guide to improving bicycle laws.....

Originally Posted by bicycledriving.org
Some states have statutes prohibiting drivers from impeding traffic. These statutes should be written so that they apply only to motor vehicles, not to all vehicles. Otherwise, a broad version of this rule could be wrongly interpreted as prohibiting operation of bicycles or horse-drawn wagons whenever following drivers might be inconvenienced.
certainly those posting here can see the same type of onerous restriction if the law declared that when a bike is 'impeding' traffic they have to pull off the road????
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Old 12-14-09, 11:42 PM
  #321  
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Originally Posted by danarnold View Post
There are no 'cataclysmic legal problems' here. Bek only makes it seem that way. WA law is similar to most States. As ILTB points out the SMV impeding 5 or more in a line law only requires the SMV (including bicycles) to use safe turnouts, and only on 2 lane highways. This is not going to be the case in cities with traffic lights and gridlock. Essentially, this law only applies on country roads.

For this SMV law to apply, there must be 1. a highway, 2. it must have 2 lanes, 3. there must be safe turnouts, 4. there must be a line of 5 or more vehicles you are impeding by going slower than the normal flow of traffic. IOW, it only applies to a situation where all of us but Bek would use the turnout anyway.
a ' two lane highway' is any two lane road.

the law is NOT similar to most states; most states do not have a SMV-I-POR law.

the law requires SMV to turn out at soonest possible safe time, not just turnouts.

these laws need to be clarified so they apply only to motor vehicles. a broad interpretation of bicyclists being required to leave any two lane roadway if 5 vehicles backed up behind could be misconstrued to prevent practical travel by bicycle on many two lane roads.

bicyclists should not be subject to 'pull off the road' laws for faster traffic. this is an affront to american bicyclists rights to the road, that predate the automobile, and should require no such removal of bicyclists from the travelled way for faster traffic.

i do not believe it should be so. most states do not require it.

there is a strong anti cyclist bias in this country. An inaccurate view of bicyclists rights pervades the law enforcement community, resides in the judges chambers, rests on the dashboard of most motorists. this anti cyclist bias is very pervasive, it rides co pilot with many cyclists too, seems like. and that's sad.

there is no attribution to that quote purportedly from SDOT. i suspect the reporter that wrote the article joshua is referencing to played 'connect the statute' .

doing a little internet research, i found a quote from joshua himself from 1995 about his claims bikes have to leave the roadway to convenience faster traffic - joshua, you've been pulling aside off of two lane roads for faster traffic for quite a few years, man. wow, what wasted mileage! think of how far you could have actually gotten! i suspect i've ridden by you standing at the side of a busy two lane road in rural washington sometime. it was outside of Cashmere, wasn't it? I was wondering, "what is that bicyclist doing, standing at the side of the road like that? He'll never get anywhere before dark if he stands there waiting for traffic to let up!)

a notion of bicyclists ever being required to leave the roadway for following traffic needs to be removed from our cultural vernacular.

Last edited by Bekologist; 12-14-09 at 11:49 PM.
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Old 12-14-09, 11:55 PM
  #322  
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Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
yes, most states do not have a SMV-I-POR law. those that do, or consider slow moving vehicles an impedence, need to clarify their laws slow SMV-I concepts in statute clearly only apply to motor vehicles.

quoting bicycledriving.org, a guide to improving bicycle laws.....



certainly those posting here can see the same type of onerous restriction if the law declared that when a bike is 'impeding' traffic they have to pull off the road????

Washington State, for example, has an "impeding" law that applies only to motor vehicles.

It is, however, an entirely different law than the slow-moving-vehicle law.

As defined in the RCW, bicycles are incapable of "impeding traffic."

They remain, however, capable of being a slow moving vehicle on a two-lane road where passing is unsafe, and if any vehicle operator is in that very specific situation, once there are five or more vehicles delayed behind the slow-moving vehicle, the slow-moving vehicle needs to pull off the road once that is safe.

I can't off-hand think of any two-lane city streets that are so narrow a car could not safely pass a cyclist, yet simultaneously so wide that a cyclist could safely pull off the road, and that are long enough between intersections that a cyclists could reasonably be expected to delay five or more cars. Not saying they don't exist, I just can't recall having seen one.
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Old 12-15-09, 12:11 AM
  #323  
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I’ll admit to not reading all 15 or however many there are by now pages of this exciting thread.

But, I have been reading the RCW, mostly in Title 46 “Motor Vehicles”, and especially the chapters about vehicles, motor vehicles, and bicycles. [Interesting that up until about 1965 there was a separate Title regarding bicycles … ]

So, when reading the Law, it really helps to read the Definitions Chapter first – that is 46.04. Bicycle, Highway, Motor Vehicle, Roadway, Traffic, Vehicle, and many other terms are defined. https://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=46.04

Chapter 46.61 is “Rules of the Road”.
46.61.100 says “Upon all roadways of sufficient width a vehicle shall be driven upon the right half of the roadway” and then lists exceptions like passing and other situations. This is the text that applies to all vehicles.
46.61.427 says “On a two-lane highway where passing is unsafe because of traffic in the opposite direction or other conditions, a slow moving vehicle, behind which five or more vehicles are formed in a line, shall turn off the roadway wherever sufficient area for a safe turn-out exists, in order to permit the vehicles following to proceed. As used in this section a slow moving vehicle is one which is proceeding at a rate of speed less than the normal flow of traffic at the particular time and place.”

NOTE, the word “impede” is not used in the law. AND, note that the writers did not say “a slow moving motor vehicle”, they said “slow moving vehicle”. So, any “device capable of being moved upon a public highway and in, upon, or by which any persons or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a public highway, including bicycles” that has five or more similar devices behind it, has to get out off of the roadway when a safe location appears.

But really, on a bicycle it’s not that hard. When cycling along, once the shoulder of the road is wide enough for a bicycle, just cross the fog line and ride there, since “A person operating a bicycle upon a roadway may use the shoulder of the roadway” (note, “may”, not “shall”). ["Roadway" means that portion of a highway improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the sidewalk or shoulder even though such sidewalk or shoulder is used by persons riding bicycles.] Voila, in Washington at least, once you are on the shoulder, you are no longer in the roadway. If not on the roadway, the others can pass. And, until the bike rider finds the “sufficient area for a safe turn-out”, the line of vehicles waiting behind can just get longer, and longer, and the cyclist can ride “ride as near to the right side of the right through lane as is safe”.

RCW 46.61.755 does state that there are “provisions of this chapter which by their nature can have no application.” “This chapter” means all of 46.61. So, what are some provisions which don’t apply to bicycles? How about the HOV provisions? Certainly the school bus and private bus requirements directed toward drivers of those vehicles. Parking passes for persons with disabilities (hmm). Using seat belts. Carrying persons on the outside of a vehicle (the basic place to be on a bike). And, of course, 46.61.665 “It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle upon the highways of this state when such person has in his or her embrace another person which prevents the free and unhampered operation of such vehicle. Operation of a motor vehicle in violation of this section is prima facie evidence of reckless driving.”

Now, compared to a vehicle such as a farm vehicle, or horse-drawn carriage, bikes get off pretty easy. We are a lot skinnier than them.

So, to recap: here in Washington the law does not include the word “impede”. The law just says if passing is unsafe, and there are five or more behind, when it is safe to move out of the way, do it. Don’t have to ride into the ditch. Whew.

Last edited by moleman76; 12-15-09 at 12:13 AM. Reason: left a bit out, ha!
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Old 12-15-09, 12:40 AM
  #324  
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Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
the law is NOT similar to most states; most states do not have a SMV-I-POR law.
I don't have a guide to all 50 states handy, but there's an equivalent law in the states I'm familiar with.

California:
On a two-lane highway where passing is unsafe because of traffic in the opposite direction or other conditions, a slow-moving vehicle … behind which five or more vehicles are formed in line, shall turn off the roadway at the nearest place designated as a turnout by signs erected by the authority having jurisdiction over the highway, or wherever sufficient area for a safe turnout exists, in order to permit the vehicles following it to proceed. As used in this section a slow-moving vehicle is one which is proceeding at a rate of speed less than the normal flow of traffic at the particular time and place.
Arizona:
C. If a person is driving a vehicle at a speed less than the normal flow of traffic at the particular time and place on a two-lane highway where passing is unsafe, and if five or more vehicles are formed in a line behind the vehicle, the person shall turn the vehicle off the roadway at the nearest place designated as a turnout by signs erected by the director or a local authority, or wherever sufficient area for a safe turnout exists, in order to permit the vehicles following to proceed.
Alaska has such a law, and Colorado, I've seen the signs but don't have the text.

So maybe they aren't universal, but they're certainly not limited to Washington. And the similarity of language suggests there's a standard code being emulated -- anybody have a UVC handy?

Last edited by jputnam; 12-15-09 at 12:43 AM.
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Old 12-15-09, 12:45 AM
  #325  
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Originally Posted by moleman76 View Post
[FONT=Times New Roman]

So, to recap: here in Washington the law does not include the word “impede”. The law just says if passing is unsafe, and there are five or more behind, when it is safe to move out of the way, do it. Don’t have to ride into the ditch. Whew.
I am going to have to strenuously insist, that bicyclists are not circumscribed to pull off of two lane roadways when passing is unsafe and five vehicles have backed up behind.

bicyclists shall be required to not just pull FRAP, but pull OFF the road to convenience faster traffic?

An affront to bicyclists rights to travel public roads that predates the automobile. look at the rudiments of the Selz V Trotwood case. Look at the UVC. there's no requirement for vehicles to pull off a roadway.

I don't care about this 21st century idea of 'equality' of statute that seemingly drives this desire to be statutorily required to pull off the roadway for faster traffic -

it is one of the most fundamental bicyclists rights that we not be required to pull off the road to convenience motorists

bluntly.
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