Many agree that biking is good exercise, but the majority of motorists believe that cyclists should have their own lanes and stay off the roads that were designed for automobile traffic.
Cyclists are not permitted on roads where the posted speed limit is greater than 50 mph but are permitted on the shoulder of the road. This still becomes a problem when there is debris, glass, uneven pavement, culverts, etc., that prevent the cyclist from riding on the shoulder and entering back into the path of the motorist.
Motorists and cyclists both need to be aware of the laws and regulations in their states. In Maryland, when passing a cyclist, you must allow three feet from the side of your vehicle and return to your lane when you can clearly see the cyclist in your rearview mirror. A motorist should not use his horn to alert the cyclist as this could, in turn, alarm them. Cyclists should stay as close to the right side of the road to maintain safety. They are required to use turn lanes and motorists should not attempt to make right turns across the path of the cyclist.
Maryland law requires that cyclists must:
- Wear a bicycle helmet if they are under 16 years old
- Obey all traffic signs, signals, and other traffic devices
- Ride in the same direction as motor vehicles and as near to the right side of the road as possible
- Use standard arm signals to alert other drivers of lane changes and turns
- Stop for school buses when they are loading or unloading children
- Yield to pedestrians
- Refrain from wearing a headset that covers both ears
Further, a bicycle must be equipped with front and rear lamps and reflectors if the bicycle is used on a public road at any time when there is insufficient light or inclement weather. It should also be equipped with a bell or horn and brakes.