H. B. 4304
(By Delegates Wells, Guthrie, Skaff,
Fleischauer, Skinner, Manypenny, Barill, R. Smith,
Walters, Poore and McCuskey)
[Introduced January 24, 2014; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §17C-7-3 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend and reenact §17C-11-5 and §17C-11-7 of said code, all relating to overtaking a bicycle on a roadway; and eliminating the prohibition against bicycles on roadways when usable adjacent paths are available.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §17C-7-3 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; and that §17C-11-5 and §17C-11-7 of said code be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 7. DRIVING ON RIGHT SIDE OF ROADWAY, OVERTAKING AND PASSING, ETC.
§17C-7-3. Overtaking and passing vehicle proceeding in same direction -- Passing on the left generally; penalty.
(a) The following rules shall govern the overtaking and passing of vehicles proceeding in the same direction subject to these limitations, exceptions, and special rules hereinafter stated:
(1) The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall give an audible signal and pass to the left thereof of the overtaken vehicle at a safe distance and shall may not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle.
(B) The driver of a vehicle overtaking a bicycle traveling in the same direction shall pass to the left of the bicycle at a distance of not less than three feet at a careful and reduced speed, and may not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken bicycle. In the event a motor vehicle needs to cross a double yellow line in the roadway to facilitate three feet of clearance, the motor vehicle is permitted as conditions of the roadway allow given the relative speed of the vehicles and the clear line of sight available.
(2) Except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted, the driver of an overtaken vehicle shall give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle on audible signal and shall may not increase the speed of his or her vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.
(b) Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $100; upon a second conviction within one year thereafter, shall be fined not more than $200; and upon a third or subsequent conviction, shall be fined not more than $500.
ARTICLE 11. OPERATION OF BICYCLES AND PLAY VEHICLES.
§17C-11-5. Riding on roadways and bicycle paths.
(a) Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.
(b) Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall may not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.
(c) Whenever a usable path for bicycles has been provided adjacent to a roadway, bicycle riders shall use such path and shall not use the roadway.
§17C-11-7. Lamps and other equipment on bicycles.
(a) Every bicycle when in use at nighttime shall be equipped with a lamp on the front which shall emit emits a white light visible from a distance of at least five hundred feet to the front and with a red reflector on the rear of a type approved by the department which shall be visible from all distances from fifty feet to three hundred feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful upper beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle. A lamp emitting a red light visible from a distance of five hundred feet to the rear may be used in addition to the red reflector.
(b) No person shall operate a bicycle unless it is equipped with a bell or other device capable of giving a signal audible for a distance of at least one hundred feet, except that a bicycle shall not be equipped with nor shall any person use upon a bicycle any siren or whistle.
(c) (b) Every bicycle shall be equipped with a brake which will enable that enables the operator to make the braked wheels skid on dry, level and clean pavement.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide rules for motor vehicles passing bicycles on roadways, and eliminate a prohibition against bicyclists using roadways where a usable path exists adjacent to the roadway.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.