By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new law is on the books in Pennsylvania that requires motorists to give bicyclists four feet of clearance when passing.

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Alex Doty, executive director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, notes that motorists should give riders a wide berth, and it’s legal to cross the center double-yellow line in the road when it’s safe to do so.

“The most important thing that the law does is basically take what is commonsense, safe behavior and make it legal under the Motor Vehicle Code,” Doty tells KYW Newsradio.

Motorists also need to be aware of the fact that cyclists, while riding near the curb, may be going straight on the roadway or the shoulder while the driver is trying to turn right.

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“There are also some provisions for yielding to bicyclists when motor vehiclists are making a turn,” he says.

Russell (no last name given), a bike rider who has been clipped by vehicles, says it’s all about coexisting on the roads.

“You would give another car four feet of space, like a reaction zone,” he says.  “Bikes need to avoid obstacles in the road, so it’s good to have that buffer.”

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