[Nothing on this blog should be confused for legal advice. I am not a lawyer, public official, or officer of the law. You, the reader, are liable for your own behavior and knowledge.]

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Pass and Turn

When a cyclist is behind me, do I need to worry when I make a turn that I might hit her or him?

If a cyclist is behind you, it is the cyclist's responsibility not to run into your car as you slow, stop, or turn just as it would be for any car that might be behind you. However, it is not OK to pass a cyclist and then slow down in from of them to make a turn, in effect cutting him or her off. Think about the Car Analog Rule, again. Would you pass a car only to slow down and turn? No. That would be rude (and likely unsafe) so don't do it to a cyclist. If you know that you're approaching a turn while you're waiting to pass a cyclist, do the safe thing, and simply wait to make your turn.

This often becomes a problem with bike lanes. Instead of recognizing cyclists as a part of traffic, bike lanes can give motorists the impression that bikes are separated and negligible. Unfortunately, this means that motorists will often forget to check that they are not cutting off cyclists who are behind them when crossing bike lanes to make right hand turns. Driving with the appropriate vigilance reduces these kinds of dangers.

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