[B' Spokes: These changes are cool! So ATTENTION MARYLAND BICYCLE LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE]
If you would like to make comments to the proposed changes to the Bicycle Technical Committee see the main page.
To highlight a few of proposed changes (my best attempt at preserving formatting):
III-DRIVING ON RIGHT SIDE OF ROADWAY; OVERTAKING AND PASSING-USE OF ROADWAY
(Sections especially concerning bicycling)
§ 11-301 Drive on right side of
Upon all roadways of sufficient width a vehicle
shall be driven upon the right half of the roadway, except as follows:
When overtaking and passing another vehicle
proceeding in the same direction under the rules governing such movement;
When an obstruction exists making it
necessary to drive to the left of the center of the highway; provided any
person driving to the left of the center of the highway shall yield the right
of way to all vehicles traveling in the proper direction upon the unobstructed
portion of the highway within such distance as to constitute an immediate
Upon a roadway divided into three marked
lanes for traffic under the rules applicable thereon; or
Upon a roadway restricted to one-way traffic.
Upon all roadways any vehicle proceeding at less
than the normal and lawful speed of traffic at the time and place and under the
conditions then existing shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available
or as close as practicable to the
right—hand curb or edge of the roadway, except when overtaking and passing
another vehicle proceeding in the same direction or when preparing for a left
turn at an intersection or into a private road, alley, or driveway. or far enough to the right to allow overtaking and passing
by faster vehicles if such passing is safe and reasonable, except under any of
the situations listed below.
1. When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in
the same direction.
2. When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a
private road or driveway.
3. When the operator must necessarily drive in a lane other
than the right-hand lane to continue on such operator’s intended route.
(c) The intent of this subsection is to facilitate the
overtaking of slowly moving vehicles by faster vehicles, and shall not require
the drivers of such slowly moving vehicles to risk their own safety in order to
facilitate overtaking. If there is a marked bicycle lane at the right side of
the road, operators of bicycles shall not be required to use such lane.
Upon any roadway having four or more lanes for
moving traffic and providing for two-way movement of traffic, no vehicle shall
be driven to the left of the center line of the roadway, except when authorized
by official traffic-control devices designating certain lanes to the left side
of the center of the roadway for use by traffic not otherwise permitted to use
such lanes, or except as permitted under subsection (a) 2. This subsection
shall not be construed as prohibiting the crossing of the center line in making
a left turn into or from an alley, private road or driveway.
Specific justifications for § 11-301 changes:
This section is being expanded to include all
slow-moving vehicles. The changes enhance safety and clarity. An operator of a
bicycle, moped or motorcycle can facilitate overtaking in a wide lane while
still maintaining a position in the lane which maintains visibility and avoids
potential hazards. Section (b) 3 applies to situations where the right-hand
lane is obstructed or unsafe, or is a right-turn lane, or is to the right of a
11-303 Overtaking a vehicle on the left
The following rules shall govern the overtaking and passing
of vehicles proceeding in the same direction, subject to those limitations,
exceptions and special rules hereinafter stated:
driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction
shall pass at a safe distance to the left of the vehicle being overtaken and
shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of
the overtaken vehicle.
when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted, the driver of an
overtaken vehicle shall
give way to the right in
favor of the overtaking vehicle on audible signal and not increase the
speed of the vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle. If the roadway is of sufficient width to permit safe
passing, the overtaken driver shall not unnecessarily obstruct the overtaking
Specific justifications for § 11-303 changes:
The current language in part (b) requiring an audible
signal is an antiquated leftover from the days of Model T Fords and dirt roads.
Then, people drove towards the center of such roads to avoid ruts at the edge.
A faster driver would signal with the horn to alert the leading driver to move
over. On modern roads, people normally drive near the right; therefore this
instruction has little meaning. Occupying a lane is not unnecessarily
obstructive if another lane is available for travel. Use of horns must be
reserved for emergency situations, not to intimidate or startle slower drivers,
and avoiding noise pollution.
The (State highway commission) and local
authorities are authorized to determine those portions of any highway under
their respective jurisdictions where overtaking and passing or driving on the
left side of the roadway would be especially hazardous and may by appropriate
signs or markings on the roadway indicate the beginning and end of such zones.
When such signs or markings are in place and
clearly visible to an ordinarily observant person every driver of a vehicle
shall obey the directions thereof.
Where signs or markings are in place to define a
no-passing zone as set forth in paragraph (a) no driver shall at any time drive
on the left side of the roadway within such no-passing zone or on the left side
of any pavement striping designed to mark such no-passing zone.
This section does not apply under the conditions
described in 11-301(a)2, nor to the driver of a vehicle turning left into or
from an alley, private road or driveway.
Division (c) of this section does not
apply when all of the following apply:
1. The slower vehicle is proceeding at less than half the
speed of the speed limit applicable to that location.
2. The faster vehicle is capable of overtaking and passing the
slower vehicle without exceeding the speed limit.
3. There is sufficient clear sight distance to the left of the
center or center line of the roadway to meet the overtaking and passing provisions
of sections 11-305 and 11-306, considering the speed of the slower vehicle.
Specific justifications for § 11-307 changes:
Overtaking slow vehicles does not require as much
distance as overtaking vehicles traveling near the speed limit. In particular,
it is often only necessary to merge partway into the oncoming lane to overtake
a bicyclist, and so the distance required for overtaking is even shorter then.
Such overtaking is common and has not been shown to be a problem. Ohio, Maine
and New Jersey have adopted provisions to make this legal. This change is
necessary for safe and legal passing distances on many roads. The wording is
from Ohio statute, and is also relevant to farm equipment and animal-drawn
vehicles. See http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/4511.31
§ 11-601 Required position and method of
The driver of a vehicle intending to turn shall
do so as follows:
turns - Both the approach for a right turn and a right turn shall be made
as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway. Where there is a separate lane for bicycles at the right
edge of the roadway, a driver making a right turn must merge into this bicycle
lane before turning.
- The driver of a vehicle intending to turn left shall approach the turn in the
extreme left lane lawfully available to traffic moving in the direction of
travel of such vehicle. Whenever practicable, the left turn shall be made to
the left of the center of the intersection so as to leave the intersection or
other location in the extreme left lane lawfully available to traffic.
Two-way left-turn lanes - Where a special lane
for making left turns by drivers proceeding in opposite directions has been
indicated by official traffic-control devices:
left turn shall not be made from any other lane.
vehicle shall not be driven in the lane except when preparing for or making a
left turn from or into the roadway or when preparing for or making a U turn
when otherwise permitted by law.
The state highway commission and local
authorities in their respective jurisdictions may cause official
traffic-control devices to be placed and thereby require and direct that a
different course from that specified in this section be traveled by turning
vehicles, and when such devices are so placed no driver shall turn a vehicle
other than as directed and required by such devices.
Specific justifications for § 11-601 changes:
The first sentence of §11-601(a) already implicitly
requires drivers to merge into a bike lane, parking lane or other
special-purpose lane before turning right. Language added to §11-601(a) will
help prevent the dangerous error called the “right hook”. This is similar to California CVC §
Reorganization of the section clarifies that standard
rules for left turns, as well as the option to specify special rules, apply to
all vehicles. Also see section 11-1208, which describes the two-step left-turn option for bicyclists.
§ 11-505--Pedestrians to use right half of
crosswalks and shared-use paths.
pedestrians shall move upon the right half of crosswalks and shared-use paths, unless indicated otherwise by traffic-control
Specific justifications for § 11-505 changes:
The narrowness of most shared-use paths, and the slower
travel speeds of bicycles compared with those of motor vehicles, make it more
practical and reasonably safe for pedestrians to keep to the right. This is the
practice in most states. Then bicyclists can at least keep moving at a slow
riding pace, or by walking. If pedestrians walk on the left, head-on conflicts
with bicyclists occur and the capacity of the path is greatly reduced when it
is congested. This addition refers to the new definition of “shared-use path”
proposed for Chapter 1 of the UVC.
Please see Proposed Changes to UVC Chapters 1 and 11
for all the proposed changes.