WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - When passing bicyclists, drivers in West Lafayette will now have to keep the length of a yardstick in mind. The city council passed an ordinance forcing drivers to allow at least three feet when passing a cyclist.
It's not only a new law, but an effort to educate drivers. Councilman Eddie VanBogaert (D) sponsored the ordinance. He said a lot of people don't know that bicyclists over the age of 16 have to ride on the street.
With the new ordinance, VanBogaert hopes the rules will be clarified as to how to safely share the road with bicyclists. A leader of a local bicycle group said it's about time.
"This ordinance, ultimately, is going to provide some awareness to drivers, that we do have a place on the road. We deserve enough respect to get three feet, just so that we feel safe," said Aaron Madrid, Bicycle Lafayette co-founder.
"There has always been some kind of an idea that there was an appropriate passing distance, but our code, being as old as it was, hadn't look at actually defining that," said VanBogaert.
Even Mayor John Dennis (R) shared a close encounter he had on his bike this weekend. He said if the driver was inches closer, he easily could have crashed.
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