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Proposed Law Would Prevent Serious Georgia Bicycle Accidents

Motorists whizzing close by to bicyclists are responsible for approximately 1.2% of all bicycle accidents every year, but about 22% of those accidents result in catastrophic injuries or death.A new piece of legislation in Georgia would require that motorists passing by a bicyclist maintain a space of at least 3 feet between the vehicle and the bicycle.As an Atlanta injury lawyer, I strongly support the legislation. The legislation would help prevent accidents in Atlanta and throughout Georgia.

House Bill 180 requires motorists to pass at a safe distance from a bicycle.The term “safe distance” is defined as 3 feet.Across Georgia, bicyclists have been exposed to accident and injury risks from motorists “buzzing” past them.These risks would be avoided if the bill is passed.Although the risks that come when motorists pass too close to bicycles are common knowledge, few states have laws in place that prevent motorists from such behavior.In fact, only 16 states in the US have laws that establish a specific distance that motorists must maintain from a bicycle.Georgia, if it approves the law, would become one of the states that prioritize bicyclist safety.

This piece of legislation is one of several bicycle safety bills that are currently pending in the Georgia Assembly.Another bill, House Bill 101 defines bicycle lanes and establishes the installation of bicycle lanes to national guidelines.The bill would also require motorists to yield to bicyclists.Yet another bill, House Bill 71 would allow Georgia residents to petition their local administrations to allow them to bicycle on sidewalks.Under current laws, only children below the age of 12 can ride bicycles on sidewalks.Riding on the sidewalk may help prevent serious bicycle accidents.

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