I want to inform people of the Maine law that pertains to bicycle etiquette. There are 35 states, including Maine, that require motorists to give cyclists at least 3 feet of clearance when passing, and four more states are considering such laws. If one cannot pass safely, then slow down and stop, if necessary, until you can, the law states.

Car and truck weights vary from 2,000 to over 8,000 pounds. If one is not a cyclist, one has not experienced being passed too closely by a vehicle. It is stressful and terrifying. That, in itself, can cause indecision and quick, jerky movements that could induce crashes or injury. Road conditions are also a hazard; hence, the importance of drivers being extremely focused and diligent when coming upon cyclists.

The first reaction a lot of drivers have is to speed up. This is not what one should do. Slow down, assess the situation and see if oncoming traffic in the opposite lane is clear or not before doing any kind of maneuvering around the cyclist. If you see oncoming traffic, that probably means you cannot pass the cyclist without giving way 3 feet from the end of your mirror. Please comprehend how large an area that takes up.

The road is not just for cars, trucks and motorcycles. Cyclists, walkers, et al., all have the right to be on the road. Use caution and care and slow down and be kind. It can save lives and it will make you feel good, too.

June Sendrowski

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