Philadelphians React To The New Bike Law
By Diana Rocco
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Who has the right of way? And can’t we all get along? These are questions drivers and cyclists have been asking for as long as they’ve been sharing the road.
“The messengers cause a lot of headaches. They run people over and keep going; they knock people over and don’t care,” says David Bonner.
On the flip side, CBS3 asked cyclists if they think that drivers have been considerate and respectful—for the most part.
“No, I don’t,” says bicyclist Isaac Finkelstein.
“They’re just like, ‘Move out the way!’ They just don’t care,” adds Chris Malloy.
But a new law that went into effect in Pennsylvania this week is trying to change the age old feuding that takes place on the roads. Cars must give bikes at least four feet on all sides when passing and must yield to cyclists when making turns. Also, drivers can now legally cross the center line to go around a bike.
Jenny Robinson from AAA says it gives each side some guidelines. “We all need to coexist and give each other that room, and the law is helping to make that clearer,” she says.
And after two cyclist fatalities in the past year, bike clubs are in favor too.
“It’s not about the police coming out with a yard stick, but it does help clarify responsibility should there be a crash,” says Nicholas Mirra, from the Bike Coalition of Philadelphia, who also says that 20 states now have bike laws on the books to protect riders.
And Mirra adds that respect should be mutual.
“Bicyclists have a responsibility of being courteous to pedestrians, not blowing through red lights, and drivers have a responsibly to look out for more vulnerable road users.”
Still, some say common sense and courtesy shouldn’t be legislated, and that the new law will be difficult to enforce.