Drivers vs. Cyclists: A New Biking Law Brings Safety for Everybody on the Road

Story by Emily Higham, Creative Director
Photo courtesy of DANAPOINTTIMES.COM

Thanks to the help of the Greater Grand Rapids Bicycle Coalition, a new biking law has taken the streets in Kent County, making roads safer for cyclists new, old, amateur, and pro. On Tuesday, September 22, the city of Grand Rapids passed a law regarding a length that is safe for cars to pass people on bicycles while on the road.

This law requires many things. It urges drivers to be respectful of cyclists on the the road. The new safe passing distance for vehicles is 5 feet. The intention of this rule is to increase safety and security, as well as to decrease the amount of accidents.

Even more than the 5-feet passing law, drivers cannot open a door of their vehicle in a way that obstructs bicycles. Also, bicycles to be ridden at night must have a white light on the front and a red reflector or light on the rear.

It is rumored that drivers will become frustrated with even slower traffic behind bikers in Grand Rapids, but by law bikers are only allowed to be 2 riders abreast.

In small college community among an even greater city and college community, students can be reassured while riding their bikes around the community, to class, and to other off campus locations. This creates a safer area throughout Grand Rapids for college students who rely on their bicycles for travel.

The roads aren’t the only place that students and community members alike can ride freely and safely. The Kent Trails, located past the John Ball Zoo, six miles from Aquinas. Another popular trail is the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail which stretches 92 miles — starting in Grand Rapids and ending in Cadillac. Both of these are great places for bikers to enjoy the nature that the county has to offer.

Hopefully this will be a buffer for those who choose to ride their bikes, an encouragement to ditch the car, forget your change for the bus at home, and enjoy a nice ride.

About the Writer…

10387463_735520713152532_386313716856156636_nEmily Higham is a junior majoring in Communication and minoring in Spanish. She is also the Creative Director for the Saint. Emily enjoys being an RA on campus and running marathons.


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