There have been several high profile accidents involving bicyclists and motor vehicles over the last few years here in Washington County.

In almost all cases, the biker loses the confrontation.

So. the St. George Police Department (which has its own set of bicycle officers) is urging motorists to take extra care around bicyclists, especially in a town that has a large bicyclist presence and even annually hosts the Ironman 70.3 North American Championships.

"We're all responsible," SGPD urges, adding this image and some laws related to the topic:

Tiffany Mitchell
Tiffany Mitchell
  • Motorists may not pass within 3-feet of a moving bicycle (41-6a-706.5).
  • Motorists may not attempt to distract a bicyclist for the purpose of causing injury or force a bicyclist off the roadway (41-6a-706.5).
  • Motorists may cross the centerline (41-6a-701) or the center two-way left turn lane (41-6a-710) to pass a bicycle if it can be done safely.
  • When traveling in a merging lane, yield the right-of-way to all vehicles (including bicycles) traveling in the continuing lane (41-6a-903).
  • When turning left, yield to any vehicle (including bicycles) approaching from the opposite direction (41-6a-903).
  • When turning right, yield to any vehicle (including bicycles) in the intersection or adjacent crosswalk (41-6a-305).
  • Don’t follow any vehicle (including a bicycle) too closely (41-6a-711).
  • Don’t drive carelessly or distracted (41-6a-1715) including not texting or emailing while driving (41-6a-1716).
  • -Always signal your intention to turn right or left, change lanes, or stop at least two seconds before doing so (41-6a-804). A person may not stop or suddenly decrease the speed of a vehicle without first giving an appropriate signal to the operator of any vehicle immediately to the rear when there is opportunity to give a signal (41-6a-804).
  • Motorists may not drive when their front or side view is obstructed (41-6a-1705).
  • Know that cyclists are required to ride as far to the right as practicable, though they are allowed to occupy the lane when passing another bike or vehicle preparing to turn left, going straight through an intersection past a right-turn-only lane, avoiding unsafe conditions on the right-hand edge of the roadway or traveling in a lane too narrow to safely ride side-by-side with another vehicle (41-6a-1105).

Amazingly, the post by the SGPD has created some controversy as many motorists took the time to complain about the large presence of cyclists.

Jerry P. commented: "What about the cycles running stop signs, riding 3 abreast obstructing traffic? Always the motor vehicles fault. Just saying."

Liz S. added this: "It's hard when there is a bike lane and a bicyclist decides to ride on the line or in the road. I can't pass because I can't give them the 3 feet due to other cars in the lane, but now I'm only going 5 mph and have other cars about to rear end me."

And Lisa A. had this to say: "Unfortunately some cyclists think that just means they don't have to stop even if there's traffic. Twice in two weeks a cyclist had blown through the intersection at 400 E 300 S. without even slowing down. The day he had to swerve and I had to slam on my brakes to avoid me hitting him, he yelled and flipped me off."

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