Bicycle safety is a constant concern across the D.C. area, and two new Virginia laws going into effect on July 1 aim to address it.
One of the laws will require drivers across the state to switch lanes if they can’t maintain at least three feet of distance when passing cyclists — even if that means moving their vehicle over double-yellow lines.
The other measure will allow bicyclists to ride side-by-side in pairs along a single lane.
Fairfax County police shared a number of general safety tips for keeping roads safe for bicyclists ahead of July 1.
- Avoid distractions while driving.
- Stop and look in both directions before turning right at a red light.
- Pay close attention to your surroundings and look for anyone who may be crossing the street when approaching an intersection.
- Use caution and double-check mirrors before making a right-hand turn.
- Don’t park or drive in bike lanes if they are present.
- Check your side and rearview mirrors for bicyclists before opening your door if you’re parking on a roadway.
The pair of new laws were passed by the Virginia General Assembly earlier this year.