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North Carolina bike laws

By Sean Butler
Posted Thursday, February 10, 2005

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I suggest both bikers that ride on roads and non-bikers that drive review the NC law regarding bicycles:

The major point is that bikes are considered vehicles for all driving laws. For example, passing a biker (or group of bikers) on a solid yellow line is actually against the law, but a courteous biker will ride single file on the far right to allow this if it is safe. (The same holds true for other slow vehicles we see on our county rodes such as farm tractors.)

However, on dangerous curves (for example) a biker or group of bikers may choose to ride in the middle to prevent cars from passing. The cars should not consider passing on a curve (i.e. breaking the law) but some drivers do so anyway, so the bikers are protecting both their own lives, the lives of the people in any potential oncoming cars, and the lives of people in the passing car.

That is just one example. Unfortunately there is a lot of enmity between car drivers and bike riders. Some bikers give other bikers bad names by riding dangerously or by not obeying traffic signals (which, per the NC law, is breaking the law), etc. The same holds true for some drivers that act foolishly or don't obey laws and make it dangerous for bikers.

The specific law I refer to for any who may question it is:

20-150. Limitations on privilege of overtaking and passing.

E. The driver of a vehicle shall not overtake and pass another on any portion of the highway which is marked by signs, markers or markings placed by the Department of Transportation stating or clearly indicating that passing should not be attempted.

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