Safe Bicycling Tip – Safe Passing
October 12, 2017
During week two of our month-long focus on safe bicycling, we focus on safe passing and State laws currently in place that is designed to keep both motorists and bicyclists safe.
TCA 55-8-175 - Riding on Roadways and Bike Paths
(a) (1) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except under any of the following situations:
(A) When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction;
(B) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway; or
(C) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge. For purposes of this section, "substandard width lane" means a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and another vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.
(2) This subsection (a) does not apply to a certified police cyclist engaged in the lawful performance of duty relating to traffic control.
(b) (1) Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two (2) abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles. Persons riding two (2) abreast shall not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic and, on a laned roadway, shall ride within a single lane. (2) Subdivision (b)(1) does not apply to a certified police cyclist engaged in the lawful performance of duty relating to traffic control or in pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law.
(c) (1) This subsection (c) shall be known and may be cited as the "Jeff Roth and Brian Brown Bicycle Protection Act of 2007." (2) The operator of a motor vehicle, when overtaking and passing a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on the roadway, shall leave a safe distance between the motor vehicle and the bicycle of not less than three feet (3') and shall maintain the clearance until safely past the overtaken bicycle.
Please remember that for the month of October, both bicyclists and motorists are encouraged to report problematic locations in Knoxville where they have experienced safety issues. This may be motorists who are driving unsafely, bicyclists not riding legally, or engineering designs that are creating problems. Citizens are encouraged to email their complaints or concerns to email@example.com. At the end of the month, these locations will be compiled and used to look at improvements and enforcements, for both motorists and bicyclists. As always, emergency situations should be reported to 911 immediately.