Bill could add new safety requirements for road cyclists in NC

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- A new bill working its way through Raleigh could add new safety requirements for road cyclists.

"The safety of bikers is just such a risk especially with all the texting going on," said cyclist Rachel Ulmer, who avoids riding on the road. "One day I might be brave enough to get on the roads but until the laws get stricter I think we are going to stay clear of road riding."

If the bill, approved by the House Thursday, becomes law it would allow a vehicle to pass a bicycle in a no-passing zone as long as it keeps a four-foot distance from the slower bike.

Cyclists would also be required to wear a red rear light or reflective vest when biking at night. The rules would also apply for mopeds.

"I've actually been hit a couple times, not seriously hurt, by cars," said cyclist J.B. Brannon, who welcomes the added safety measures. "I've got a friend who died as a result of an accident and he was doing everything right."

The bill will also apply penalties to drivers who hit bicyclists. The fines would range from $500 to $750.

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