NCDOT asking for law changes for cyclists, drivers

NCDOT is asking the state legislature to look at making and/or changing laws that affect cyclists and drivers.

NCDOT is trying to reduce bicycle crashes. It says on average there are 19 deaths and 664 accidents per year in North Carolina related to bike accidents.

It wants to allow vehicles to pass cyclists even on double-yellow lines, which is now illegal, when the driver feels it is safe -- so long as the driver gives the cyclist at least four feet of space.

It also wants to allow cyclists to ride two abreast but also require they cooperate with vehicles on safe passes.

Cyclists would also have to have either a rear-reflective light or reflective clothing when riding at night. This goes along with asking cyclists to use a right-hand signal when turning right.

It also wants to have large groups of 30 or more riders get a mandatory permit from local governments. It would also only allow cyclists to ride in the moving right lane.

These suggestions from NCDOT will be looked at by the N.C. legislature in 2016. NCDOT consulted members of a working group after House Bill 232 was passed -- which asks DOT to study bike safety laws.