Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Two Abreast Law in NC?

N.C. cyclists take note: a draft bill being discussed today by your lawmakers could mean major changes to your favorite group or club ride. Here's the bill introduced by Rep. Nelson Cole (Guilford/Rockingham County area).

Here it is.

Here's what N&O writer Bruce Siceloff says on his blog:

"With NCDOT reminding North Carolinians during Bicycle Safety Month that "bicyclists share the same rights and responsibilities as other drivers," legislators are considering a proposal to put new restrictions on groups of bike riders when they share the highways with car drivers.

A joint House-Senate committee [today] will consider a draft bill that would prohibit cyclists from riding more than two abreast on the road. And when cyclists riding side-by-side are approached from the rear by a faster vehicle (i.e., car), they would be required to "move into a single file formation as quickly as practicable."

The North Carolina Active Transportation Alliance, a group of cyclists, skaters, etc., wants the proposal killed or heavily revised:

"The proposed language of the bill prohibits cyclists from riding two abreast and sets a precedent for further limiting (currently allowed) use of the full lane. The NCATA Board is concerned about the proposed bill, and while we encourage bicycles to behave courteously to passing vehicles, we see problems with codifying this as a requirement due to the implications on legal cases related to bicycle crashes, etc."

The NCATA Board has voted to present its position to Rep. Pricey Harrison in Greensboro (a cycling advocate) in hopes that she can work with Rep. Cole on either striking this piece of legislation all together or amending the language as follows:

§ 20-171.3. Operation of bicycles on highways. Bicyclists riding bicycles upon a highway shall not ride more than two abreast in a single marked lane, except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles, or when overtaking another bicyclist.

Don't like it? Get vocal. Find out who your state reps are and contact him / her by phone or e-mail.

Here's House contact info. Here's Senate contact info.


Kevin T said...

Better give Bob Mionske a call:

Rob E. said...

Little poll and news clip on the issue: http://wake.mync.com/site/Wake/news/story/51396/poll-lawmakers-propose-new-bike-riding-regulations

I was particularly disappointed to hear someone in the state government implying that if you're not in your registered vehicle and burning gasoline, you don't have as much right to the road.

Mike D said...

Ah, the old "you don't pay gas taxes so you don't have a right to the road."

It's a BS argument: The tax on gas only pays for a portion of the roads. Revenue for our Highway Fund comes from a variety of sources, including the state gas tax, motor vehicle registration fees, title fees and federal-aid appropriations. I have two registered cars. I pay federal taxes that come back to the state as highway funds. I'm helping pay for the roads.

Here's the pie chart if you're interested.

Rob E. said...

Thanks, Mike, I had been looking for that kind of information. But really if the roads were paid for entirely by the gas tax, and I never bought a gallon of gas, I wouldn't say that means I'm not entitled to use the road. I'd say that it means the tax structure is broken (which it is). The roads are established by the government for use by all of the citizens. You don't buy your rights to the road at the pump.