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Upper Macungie Township Police Department
Friday April 12th, 2019 :: 02:16 p.m. EDT


The UMTPD has an important message for you! *Bicycle Safety*

As the warmer season is beginning, the UMTPD would like to remind bicyclists and the motorists about the laws in Pennsylvania and safe practices while traveling on community roads.

General Bicycle Law
Pennsylvania's Motor Vehicle Code considers "pedalcycles" as vehicles and provides that every person riding a pedalcycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and responsibilities applicable to a driver of a vehicle, with certain exceptions.

If you ride in violation of the traffic laws, you greatly increase your risk of a crash and will likely be found at fault in the event of an accident.

Riding on the Roadway
• Bikes may be ridden on the shoulder of the road (in the same direction as the flow of traffic) but are not required to do so.
• Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast (side-by-side), unless on paths or parts of a roadway set aside for exclusive use of bicycles.

How to Ride
• Riding a bicycle on a roadway with larger, faster-moving vehicles requires prudence and confidence. As a vehicle, you have a right to ride on the shoulder or the appropriate travel lane, and you will need to assert that right by using lane control.
Placing your vehicle appropriately (taking the center of the rightmost travel lane) can greatly reduce your chances of being struck as you are more visible, acting predictably (like another vehicle), and requiring motor vehicles to fully change lanes when overtaking.
Current motor vehicle code allows a driver to overtake people riding in bike lanes even in no-passing zones if done with due care. Therefore, there is never a reason for bicyclists to encourage a motor vehicle to "squeeze by" in the same travel lane as even a 16-foot lane does not allow for the 4 feet of required clearance.

• Anyone under the age of 12 must wear a helmet when riding a bicycle. This applies to anyone operating the bicycle, riding as a passenger, or riding in an attached restraining seat or trailer. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation strongly recommends that all bicyclists wear helmets whenever they ride.

Bicycle Laws and Safety Tips for Motorists

Bicycle Laws
1. Before passing, you must first assess if you can maneuver around the bicyclist. Be sure to check for oncoming traffic. Important! When passing, you must allow at least four feet between your vehicle and a bicycle for the vehicle to safely pass the bicycle. When safe to do so, it is legal to cross the center double yellow line if necessary to provide the required four feet when passing a bicycle.

2. Unless making a Left turn, bicyclists traveling at less than normal speed must keep to the right side of the roadway when there is more than one lane marked for travel in that direction, and must travel in the same direction as the rest of traffic. Bicyclists may keep to the left on ONE WAY roadways.

3. When there is only one travel lane, bicyclists may use any portion of the lane to avoid hazards on the roadway, including a safe distance from stopped and parked cars.

4. No turn by the driver of a motor vehicle shall interfere with a bicyclist proceeding straight on a roadway or shoulder.

5. It is illegal to force a bicyclist off of the road. If you do this, you may face criminal charges.

6. While bicyclists are vehicle operators and are expected to obey all traffic laws, they may travel at less than the posted minimum speed and may not be cited for impeding traffic. Bicyclists may operate on a shoulder or berm, but are not required to do so.

Safety Tips
1. When approaching or passing a bicycle, slow down to a safe and prudent speed.

2. After you have passed a bicyclist, do not slow down or stop quickly. Vehicle brakes are more powerful than a bicycle’s, and you could be responsible for causing a crash.

3. Do not sound your horn close to bicyclists, unless you must do so to avoid a crash.

One more note from the UMTPD Criminal Investigations and Community Services Division... Please be sure to lock your car doors during the overnight hours. As the weather warms, we typically see an increase in thefts from unlocked vehicles. Thank you!

Upper Macungie Township Police Department
37 Grim Road
Breinigsville, PA 18031

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 484-661-5911

Lt. Peter Nickischer
Crime and Community Services Division Commander

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