LEONARDTOWN, Md. – Maryland state law provides similar right of way to bicyclists as motorists and both need to keep an eye out for each other on local roads. 

Bicycles may use any portion of the lane on Maryland roads with a posted speed limit of 50 mph or less where there is no shoulder or if the travel lane is narrow.

Give bicyclists three feet when passing in an automobile — it’s the law, unless the passing clearance is less than three feet because the bicycle rider fails to maintain a steady course or the highway is not wide enough.

Maryland law requires that any person under the age of 16 riding a bicycle as a passenger or operator must wear a protective bicycle helmet.

The state requires that a bicyclist traveling at a speed slower than that of vehicular traffic must ride as near to the right side of the road as possible, except when making a left turn, operating on a one-way street, passing a stopped or slower-moving vehicle, avoiding pedestrians or road hazards or the right lane is a right-turn only lane.

Maryland generally prohibits the use of bicycles on sidewalks except where allowed by local ordinance. Bicyclists are required to use a paved bike lane where available and not on the roadway, except to pass another bicyclist, making a left turn or avoiding road obstacles.

Bicycles should not be operated while intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances.

A person may not throw any object at or in the direction of any person riding a bicycle and a person may not open a vehicle door with intent to strike, injure or interfere with anyone riding a bicycle.

For more information, visit the Maryland State Highway Administration’s page at https://www.roads.maryland.gov/mdotsha/pages/Index.aspx?PageId=357