THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WTXL) — Motorists in South Georgia, be advised. There's a new law requiring drivers to change lanes if they're approaching a bicyclist.
The penalty for not doing so could cost you.
Georgia legislation enacted the new three-feet law requiring drivers to share the road with cyclists responsibly.
"For a cyclist, having access to that whole lane because you can get pushed off into the shoulder," said Roger Hawkes, one of the owners of Hubs & Hops in Thomasville.
The law mandates drivers to change lanes if possible while passing a bicyclist and giving bicyclists at least three feet of space.
"What becomes more of an issue is when the cyclist tries to squeeze close to the white line and to the edge of the road and a car tries to squeeze by. That's kind of a balancing act and that doesn't work out well for a cyclist."
The new law is aimed at protecting people who ride bicycles. According to the Federal Highway Administration, almost 50,000 bicyclists are injured in a roadway crash. While 800 crashes involving cyclists result in deaths. For drivers, Hawkes said they should practice patience while trying to pass a cyclist.
"So if you can stop for just a couple of seconds, wait until you can pass and now the law gives you the right to use the whole opposite lane to pass it's safer for everybody."