People wave as they ride bicycles down Main Street in Rangeley in this 2020 file photo. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

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I want to inform Mainers of the law pertaining to bicycle etiquette. There are 26 states in the U.S. that hold three-foot or more clearance laws, and four more states are considering these bills. If one cannot pass safely, the law states to slow down and stop if necessary until you can.

Car and truck weights vary from 2,000 to more than 8,000 pounds. If one is not a cyclist, one has not experienced being passed too closely by a vehicle. It is stressful and terrifying. That in itself can cause indecision and quick, jerky movements that could induce crashes or injury. Road conditions also are a hazard. Hence, the importance of drivers being extremely focused and diligent when coming upon cyclists.

The first reaction a lot of drivers have is to speed up. This is not what one should do. Slow down, assess the situation, see if oncoming traffic in the opposite lane is clear or not before doing any kind of maneuvering around the cyclist. If someone sees oncoming traffic that probably means they cannot pass the cyclist without giving way three feet from the end of their mirror. Please comprehend how large an area that takes up.

The road is not just for cars, trucks and motorcycles. Cyclists, walkers, etc., all have the right to be on the road. Use caution and care and slow down and be kind. It can save lives and it will make you feel good, too.

June Sendrowski