Virginia Highway Safety Office News ReleasesFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 17, 2015
Media Contact: Brandy Brubaker
Department of Motor Vehicles
DMV Urges Motorists and Bicyclists to Share the Road
Agency Continues Safety Campaign in Anticipation of Richmond 2015
RICHMOND – As the start of Richmond 2015 draws near, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) reminds motorists of the importance of sharing the road with bicyclists.
Sharing the road is this month’s theme in DMV’s summer bicycle safety campaign. The campaign, dubbed “Show the World,” comes in anticipation of Richmond 2015, a nine-day cycling competition expected to bring 450,000 spectators and 1,000 athletes from all over the world to Central Virginia. The event, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Road World Championships, will take place from September 19-27.
Drivers share the road with many other users: bicyclists, pedestrians, moped and motorcycle riders, and others. Every road user has a responsibility to follow the law and stay alert to ensure everyone’s safety.
“Whether you travel by car, truck, motorcycle or bicycle, we all have a duty to travel with respect for the rules of the road and our fellow citizens,” said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb, the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “Cycling enthusiasts from all over the world will be visiting Richmond this month. We want them to enjoy their stay and, if they choose to take in Virginia’s scenic beauty by bicycle, we want them to feel safe and welcome to share the road with us.”
Bicycles are considered vehicles and have the same right of way as motor vehicles. Bicyclists are also expected to obey the same traffic rules and regulations as vehicle drivers. Motorists should be on the lookout for bicycles on any public road.
When passing a bicyclist, motor vehicles must proceed at a reasonable speed and travel at least three feet to the left of the overtaken bicycle.
A 2015 law change now permits motorists to cross double yellow lines to pass a bicyclist if such movement can be made safely.
Motorists should also be aware of bicyclists as they enter or exit a vehicle parked along a roadway. “Dooring” occurs when a motorist opens his vehicle’s door in the path of an oncoming cyclist. The impact can seriously injure or kill a bicyclist.
It’s also important for motorists to make note of special bicycle roadway markings. For example, shared lane markings, called sharrows, increase awareness that bicyclists may be sharing the road and indicate the best place in the lane for bicyclists to ride.
Motorists may also notice bright green markings in a bike lane that indicate conflict areas where motorists could need to merge into the bike lane to make a turn. Motorists should yield to bicyclists and proceed when the way is clear.
As part of DMV’s “Show the World” campaign, cyclists are encouraged to share snapshots that illustrate their commitment to bicycle safety. To be included on DMV social media (VirginiaDMV), use #SafetyLooksGoodOnYou on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.