New Driving Safe Passing Bicycle Law

A new law goes into effect on Thursday here in Michigan and it’s something every driver needs to know about.

The state is working to save the lives of cyclists by making sure cars pass them at a safe distance.

Starting Thursday, drivers must give cyclists at least 3 feet of room while passing them on the road.

Until Thursday, Michigan was one of just 11 states with a no “safe passing” law.

But cycling groups started pushing for a law after an increase of bikers being hit and killed on the road.

“It’s about time, it’s well needed. The bicycle does not win the war with a 3,000 lb. car,” said Matthew Mulligan, sales manager at Brick Wheels.

It’s now state law: drivers must now give cyclists three feet of space while passing them on the road.

“The 3 ft. passing refers to a clear distance of three feet when motorists are passing a bicyclist on the right-hand side or the left-hand side,” said Mulligan.

The goal is to cut down on tragedies like the crash in Isabella County that killed Michael Seaman as he was out for a bike ride last summer.

The new law will also make some changes to driver’s education.

“I think it’s really good that in drivers ED and driver safety that you do learn some of the bicycle ethics as well as the pedestrian ethics,” said Mulligan.

Police will be paying close attention to this issue.

“I think with the new law you may see law enforcement giving some verbal warnings and some education on the law but they could receive a ticket ultimately,” said community service trooper, David Prichard.

But it’s up to both cyclists and drivers to be cautious.

“Bicyclist really have every right that a motor vehicle does on the road,” said Prichard.