By: Allan Siegel
Washington, DC Mayor Vincent Gray signed the Bicycle Safety Amendment Act of 2013 in October in an effort to make DC roadways safer for bicyclists. Since the act was passed, local officials and agencies have been working on campaigns to educate the public about the new laws. While understanding these new laws is essential for bicyclists who use public roads for commuting and recreation, it is also crucial for motorists who share the road with cyclists to understand them as well.
The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) has gone to great lengths to spread the word to DC residents about the bike laws in place this New Year. Because all residents should have an understanding of these traffic laws, WABA made the effort to reach out to even those DC residents who have no desire to push a pedal. In particular, they have focused on educating motorists throughout the region about their duties and responsibilities when driving and two major changes that have a direct impact on drivers.
Failure to Yield Violations – Motorists who fail to yield to the right of way of a bicyclist may now face
fines of $250 and three points on their license – the same penalties in place for failing to yield to pedestrians.
- Colliding with a Bicyclist – Colliding with a bicyclist after failing to yield is a violation punishable by a fine up to $500 and six points added to one's license.
All motorists who live in or travel to Washington, DC should be aware of these new laws – not only to protect their wallets and driving record, but more importantly the safety of cyclists. At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., our Washington, DC personal injury lawyers have seen just how devastating bicycle accidents can be when motorists fail to exert reasonable care and safely share the road. We support the new laws and offer our legal representation to injured bicyclists and families who have been affected by the negligence of motorists.