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Many City buildings closed in honor of Memorial Day on Monday, May 27

MDOT Right Turn JPGThe popularity of cycling has been steadily increasing in Dearborn and several new bike lanes are appearing around the city. For those who may be nervous about or unaware of how to drive around bicyclists, the following information provides guidelines.

“Sharing the road is a shared responsibility between people driving cars and people riding bicycles,” said Tracy Besek, founder of Bike Dearborn, stressing that distracted driving is the biggest safety concern. “It’s so important for everyone to communicate intentions by using turn signals and eye contact.”

The Michigan Department of Transportation offers the following tips for residents to drive safely around cyclists:

  • Don’t drive or park in a bicycle lane.
  • Always look for bicyclists before opening your car door.
  • Bicycles have all of the rights and duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle.
  • Bicyclists are not required to use a bicycle lane and may leave a bicycle lane to turn left or to avoid hazards.
  • Bicyclists are permitted on all roadways unless specifically prohibited, like limited access highways.
  • Drivers must avoid distractions and be aware at all times. Driving at the speed limit decreases the chances of a fatality.
  • Drivers should pass bicyclists at a safe distance and always yield to them before turning.

How to make a right turn when a bicycle lane is present:

  • When turning right, a motorist should always yield to bicyclist going straight. Never pass a bicyclist and then “hook” them by making a turn immediately in front of them.
  • Once the bicyclist passes through the intersection, the motorist should then make their right turn.

Drivers must give Dearborn cyclists 5 feet of clearance, by law

Dearborn City Ordinance requires that, when overtaking or passing a bicyclist, there must be at least five feet of separation between the driver’s vehicle and the bicyclist at all times. Drivers must also pass a bicyclist on the left. Violation of the ordinance results in a civil infraction.

“Remember, the person you are passing on a bicycle is not an obstacle in your way,” Besek added. “They are a mother, a father, a sister, a brother, a daughter, a son…they are someone’s heart!”

More information

For more information about bicyclists and drivers, please visit the Michigan Department of Transportation website at https://bit.ly/2lGGg9D