Michigan Now Has a “Safe Passing Law” for Bicyclists
It went to effect yesterday, and it's now the law as of September 27, 2018, Michigan drivers, and that means all of us, must give a minimum of 3-feet of room while passing bicyclists on Michigan roadways.
Here's the deal. PA 280 of 2018 requires a motorist attempting to overtake a bicyclist traveling in the same direction to give at least three feet to the left of the bicyclist as they pass until they have safely passed the bicyclist. The motorist may drive to the left of the center of the highway to pass a bicyclist if it is safe to do so, regardless of if the vehicle is in a no-passing zone.
PA 279 of 2018 requires a motorist attempting to overtake a bicyclist traveling in the same direction to the left of the vehicle give at least three feet of distance to the right of the bicyclist until they have safely cleared the bicyclist. Violations of PA 279 and 280 of 2018 are civil infractions resulting in a fine and three points on the motorist’s record. Not fun!
Until today, Michigan was one of only 11 states without a safe passing law. Michigan saw a significant spike in bicycle fatalities in 2016, with 38 cyclists killed on Michigan roads. This was nearly double over the previous year. According to the Office of Safety Planning, 21 bicyclists were killed in crashes on Michigan roadways in 2017 and another 1,356 were injured.