Vulnerable Road User Ordinance Designed to Protect Cyclists
DEKALB COUNTY, GA- The city of Dunwoody passed an ordinance in November designed to protect cyclists and may be the strictest cyclist law in the state, according to THECHAMPIONNEWSPAPER.COM. The ordinance is not limited to protecting people on bikes. The “Vulnerable Road Users” law is intended to make the road safer for pedestrians, motorcyclists, scooter riders, emergency service employees and skateboarders.*
With the new ordinance, vehicles are required to give a minimum of three feet to bikes and other vulnerable road users on the roadway. Drivers also cannot turn in front of these individuals, as doing so could be considered harassment or intimidation. When vehicles do not have space or a safe opportunity to pass while providing the three feet of space, they must wait and travel behind the smaller vehicle until the option to pass presents itself.
The vulnerable road users are also subject to certain restrictions, which include requirements that pedestrians use sidewalks and crosswalks when they are available and that people cycling at night wear reflective clothing.
Individuals who violate the new law can face fines up to $1,000 and could face driver’s license suspensions and even jail time. In some situations, a person may be able to take a safety course and reduce the fine.
Dunwoody also added pedestrian refuge islands and installed extra sidewalks throughout the city.
Pedestrian refuge islands allow people to cross travel lanes one at a time and provide increased visibility. The features also reduces the perceived width of the roadway, which can help lower driver speeds. Speed plays a significant role in causing pedestrian crashes.
The ordinance will take effect in May of 2020. Until next May, officers will use the delay to educate the public about the new ordinance and traffic safety.
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