Sharing The Road (Part 1) – Bicycle Law in New York State

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Hello and welcome. I’m Steve Smith Public Information officer for the City of Albany Police Department. This New York
Bicycle Coalition video, made in cooperation with city of Albany Police
Department and funded by the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety
Committee was created to bring a clearer understanding of the law as it pertains
to bicycles in the state of New York. This video will be broken into two sections.
The first will cover the responsibilities of motorists and the rights of bicyclists. The second will provide an overview of the
responsibilities of bicyclists and how bicyclists can travel safely and within
the law of New York State. This video will serve as a training tool for law
enforcement as well as the general public so we can make bicycling a safer and more enjoyable experience for everyone. New York State law states that bicyclists have the same rights to use
the road as drivers of Motor Vehicles. Bicyclists must use the right most
portion of the road or designated bike lane if it’s safe to do so. There are times
in which it is within the law for bicyclists to use the full lane. The
following are examples of common scenarios in which bicyclists may take
up a full lane of traffic; avoiding debris or other hazards. If a bicyclist encounters debris or other hazards such as parked cars. In order to avoid the
door zone. The door zone is the space of 2 to 4 feet adjacent to parallel parked or
stopped cars. When turning left. Bicyclists must signal their intention to turn and may take the full lane in order to facilitate that turn. Narrow lanes. If the lane is too narrow to share safely a bicyclist may take the full lane. To improve visibility. Parked cars can block cyclists from view of cars entering the
road from the right. Moving into the lane in line with other traffic makes the cyclist more visible by taking them away from obstructions and placing them in a location where other drivers are already looking for traffic. Dooring is when a car door is suddenly opened into a cyclist’s path of travel. This is a very dangerous activity in which a bicyclist can suffer a severe injury or even death. New York state law requires occupants of
Motor Vehicles to check for oncoming traffic including bicyclists before
opening their door to exit the vehicle. In addition, law enforcement may issue a
$250 fine for failing to check for bicyclists before
opening a car door. This can easily be remedied however by using a Dutch reach It is a common practice for motorists in the Netherlands to open their car door
with their right hand. This movement forces the driver to look
into the side view mirror prior to opening the door and helps to physically
turn their body to assist in looking behind them. Motorists should pass slowly at a safe distance generally accepted as at least
three feet. Bicyclists may ride to abreast but should move into a single
file when it is safe to do so in order to allow other traffic to pass. Motorists may cross a double yellow line to pass slower traffic when it is safe
to do so bicyclists may use the full lane to
discourage unsafe passing. Intersections bicycles may take the full
lane when passing through an intersection to improve visibility
bicyclists should use the rightmost lane for the direction they are traveling in. Motorists must yield to bicycles when turning right motorists should merge into the bike
lane yielding two bicycles in the bike lane to make a right turn.
If there is no bike lane motors should yield bicyclists on their right and wait. Motorists frequently underestimate a cyclist’s speed and think they have
enough time to turn ahead of them which often results in a crash. Left turning traffic must yield to oncoming traffic. Motorists must
be mindful of not accelerating too quickly through a left turn in the event
that other vehicles are obscuring a cyclist Bicyclists right to the ro ad. Bicyclists
have the same rights to use the road as drivers. There are times in which it is
within the law for bicycles to use the full lane. Dooring; New York state law
requires occupants of Motor Vehicles to check for oncoming traffic, including
bicyclists before opening their car door to exit the vehicle.This can easily be
remedied by using a Dutch Reach. Passing. Motorists should pass slowly at a safe distance generally accepted as at least three feet. Motorists may cross a double
yellow line to pass slower traffic when it is safe to do so.
Bicycles may use the full lane to discourage unsafe passing. Bicyclists
may ride two abreast but should move to a single-file when it is safe to do so
in order to allow other traffic to pass Intersections. Bicyclists may take the
full lane when passing through an intersection to improve visibility
bicycles should use the rightmost lane for the direction they are traveling. Right hook. Motorists must yield to bicycles when turning right. Motorists
frequently underestimate a cyclist’s speed and think they have enough time to
turn ahead of them, which often results in a crash. Left cross.
Left turning traffic must yield to oncoming traffic. Motorists must be mindful of not
accelerating too quickly through a left turn in the event that other vehicles
are obscuring a cyclist. you

One comment

  1. This video says that motorists may cross a double yellow line (when safe to do so).
    NYS DMV driver manual says no:
    here
    https://dmv.ny.gov/about-dmv/chapter-6-passing#pas-lef
    and here
    https://dmv.ny.gov/about-dmv/chapter-4-traffic-control-2#pav-mar

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