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RULES OF THE ROAD: New bicycle passing law now in effect

A new law aiming to protect bicyclists has gone into effect in Michigan. (MGN)

A new law aiming to protect bicyclists has gone into effect in Michigan.

The law requires drivers heading in the same direction as someone riding a bike to pass with at least three feet of distance to the left of the bike.

Specifically, that’s not three feet from the bike lane—that’s three feet from where the bike’s handlebars end.

Bicycling fatalities in Michigan rose by 133 percent since 2007, according to the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning.

In 2016, 1,988 bicyclists were involved in crashes, resulting in 42 deaths.

The OHSP reports that 55 percent of bicyclists involved in crashes in 2015 were “going straight ahead” before the crash.

Prior to this year, Michigan was one of only 11 states without a law that requires motorists to pass bicyclists safely.

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