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Summary of Maryland Law Regarding Bicyclists on Roadways

• Bicyclists:
– Bicyclists possess all of the same rights and duties as drivers of motor vehicles. Md. Transp. Art. §21-102 – Bicyclists, like drivers of motor vehicles, must exercise ordinary care under the circumstances. Kaffl v. Moran
– Bicyclists must ride as close to the right side of the road as practicable, except when turning left, passing, or traveling on a one way street. Md. Transp. Art. §21-1202 – Operation of a bicycle in violation of a statute does not constitute negligence per se unless the violation is the proximate cause of injury. Miles v. State.

• Drivers of Vehicles:
– Drivers may assume that other drivers will obey the rules of the road and need not anticipate that others will violate the law. Dean v. Redmiles.
– Drivers of motor vehicles owe a duty to exercise due care to avoid colliding with any bicycle ridden by a person. Md. Transp. Art. §21-1209.
– Drivers must exercise greater vigilance when approaching an intersection. Heffner v. Admiral Taxi Service, Inc.
– Drivers approaching a circular green signal, when turning right or left, shall yield right of way to any other vehicle lawfully within the intersection when the signal is shown. Md. Transp. Art. §21-202.

• Turns:
– A person may not turn a vehicle from a direct course on a roadway unless the movement can be made with reasonable safety. Md. Transp. Art. §21-604(b).
– One who operates a motor vehicle on a public highway must anticipate the presence of others thereon and must exercise constant vigilance to avoid injuring them. Peoples Drug Stores v. Windham – A motorist may not, if any other vehicle might be affected by the movement, turn a vehicle without giving a proper signal. Md. Transp. Art. §21-604(c).
– A signal of an intention to turn must be given continuously during at least the last 100 feet traveled by a vehicle before turning. Md. Transp. Art. §21-604(d).
– A driver shall make a right turn as closely as practicable to the right –hand curb of the roadway. Md. Transp. Art. §21-601(a). This requirement is intended to provide further indication of an intent to turn so that the motorist will not be passed on the right. Norris v. Wolfensberger – Vehicles of greater than average size do not enjoy any additional rights. Drivers of trucks, having knowledge of their increased width and length, owe a duty to other drivers on the roadway to take these elements into consideration in the operation of their vehicles. York Manor Express Co. v. State for use of Hawk.

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