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For the Daily News
More people are taking to the streets, on their bicycles, that is. Bicycling is a fun and healthy way to get around town and many Starkvillians are taking to the road on two wheels instead of four.
A new state law has set a minimum space requirement for cars passing bicyclists on the road, making the road safer. Motorists must leave at least three feet between their car and a cyclist when passing.
The law also states that cars may not make a right turn in front of a cyclist traveling in the same direction unless the turn can be made safely. Turning in front of a bicyclist may cause an accident as motorists often underestimate how fast some cyclists are travelling.
â€śMississippi now stands out as a leader in the cycling world. We are one of the few states in the nation to adopt a 3 Feet Law, which clearly defines the relationship between motorists and cyclists,â€ť said Josh Sullivan, president of Jackson Metro Cyclists and supporter of the legislation.
This new law went into effect on July 1st and was named after John Paul Frerer, a young man from North Mississippi who was struck and killed by a vehicle while cycling. Those who worked to get the legislation passed hope that Mississippi roads will be safer for cyclists and motorists alike.
â€śWeâ€™re pleased that this law recognizes that bicycles belong on the road and share the same responsibilities as cars. Safety is everyoneâ€™s responsibility and this law helps make Mississippi roads that much safer,â€ť said Devon Brenner, president of Starkville in Motion.
Guidelines for bicyclists are also included. Bicyclists must ride as close as possible to the right-hand curb or edge of a road, except when passing, turning, or avoiding road hazards. No more than two bicyclists may ride side-by-side on a road, unless the road is exclusively for bike use.
To read the full version of the law, visit http://www.starkvilleinmotion.org