Drivers now required to give bicyclists 3 feet of space when passing

July 7, 2015

A new law in effect in Wyoming requires drivers passing bicyclists to maintain at least three feet of space between their vehicle and the bicycle./

The Wyoming Highway Patrol is committed to highway safety and will make the new law an integral part of its mission to serve and protect all people on the state’s roads

"In Wyoming, bicyclists have the same right to operate on our roadways as folks operating motor vehicles,” Lt. Col. Shannon Ratliff said. “Our main focus, however, is to ensure it's done safely. The WHP believes this law provides for a necessary buffer between bicycles and vehicles, and that it makes everyone accountable for safety. While we are absolutely committed to education and awareness, clear-cut violations may necessitate enforcement action."

The new statute is safety oriented and designed to help reduce injury and fatal crashes involving bicycles.

It states: "The driver of a motor vehicle overtaking and passing a bicycle, which is operating lawfully, proceeding in the same direction shall, when space allows, maintain at least a three (3) foot separation between the right side of the driver's motor vehicle, including all mirrors and other projections from the motor vehicle, and the bicycle."

The potential fine for failing to provide the three-foot separation is $70.

Bicyclists are reminded to take responsibility for their own safety, always riding with traffic, as far to the right as practical, while watching for vehicles pulling out from the curb and for car doors opening in your path.

Bicyclists must obey traffic laws such as stop signs, traffic signals and travel lane markings. Helmet use and wearing high visibility clothing also increase a bicyclist's safety. If riding at night, use a white front light, a red flashing light on the rear, and wear reflective tape or clothing.