Georgia has seen an increase in bicyclist on the roads in the past several years. While the state laws have a few protections in place for bicyclists, the city of Dunwoody is going one step further and proposing a new law that have even tougher penalties for dangerous drivers, and make the roads safer for bicyclists.
The Dunwoody ordinance was introduced by City Councilman Tom Lambert. Currently, Georgia laws require that vehicles maintain a distance of a minimum of 3 feet while passing bicyclists. However, the ordinance would extend that provision to 6 feet, and would add trucks and commercial vehicles to the law. These vehicles would be required to maintain a distance of a minimum of 6 feet while passing bicyclists.
The ordinance also proposes stiffer penalties for motorists who fail to respect the rights of bicyclists. It goes further than any other such similar ordinances passed elsewhere in the state, because it specifically targets motorists who engage in intimidating and harassing actions towards bicyclists. As many cyclists in Atlanta know, cyclists are far too vulnerable to road rage incidents, and are most likely to become victims of aggressive driving or harassment. Unfortunately, many motorists believe that the roads were created exclusively for the use of four-wheelers and passenger cars, and many do not respect bicyclist rights. Despite encouraging everyone to “share the road,” not all do.