Bicycle-Related Proposals for Amendments to the Uniform Vehicle Code

John Allen (NCUTCD-BTC, RORC), revised November 24, 2014

I have volunteered as the NCUTCD Bicycle Technical Committee representative on the Rules of the Road Task Force established within the NCUTCD to revise the Uniform Vehicle Code. Proposals for revision are listed below. As indicated, most of them have been reviewed by the Bicycle Technical Committee and Rules of the Road Task Force, and sent out for comment from sponsors. The most recent version of each proposal is shown in the uppermost table, with earlier versions shown below that table for reference.

Proposals as of November 20, 2014

The table below includes links to Microsoft Word documents of the proposals in their most recent form, and to sponsor comments. I thank Richard Moeur for updating the proposals.

The sponsor comments linked here are the same ones as in the March 2013 collation, but split out into a separate document for comments on each proposal.

The proposals on cell phones and texting in Chapter 11, and all of the proposals in Chapter 12, were not submitted to sponsors because the NCUTCD is charged only with revisions of rules of the road and related definitions. A few proposals in Chapter 11 were withheld from submission to sponsors. The new provision on nonresponsive traffic signals replaces the Idaho traffic signal law (revision to section 11-202), which was not submitted to sponsors.

Chapter 1, Definitions
Section Topic Explanation Sponsor comments
All All Commenter affiliations, general comments. Introduction
1-109 Bicycle - definition Inclusiveness Comments on 1-109
1-186 Roadway - definition Clarify shoulder status Comments on 1-186
1-(new) Bicycle trailer - definition New category Comments on 1-(new)
1-(new) Electric bicycle - definition New category Comments on 1-(new)
1-(new) Shared-use path - definition Define use Comments on 1-(new)
1-(new)

Wheelchair - definition Correct omission Comments on 1-(new)
Chapter 11, Rules of the Road
11-202 Bicycle - Idaho traffic signal law Not submitted to sponsors  
11-301 Driving on the right Clarifies and
improves language
Comments on 11-301
11-303 Overtaking a vehicle on the left Update to reflect modern
road conditions
Comments on 11-303
11-304 When passing on the right is permitted Clarify that bicyclists may
overtake on the shoulder
Comments on 11-304
11-307 No-passing zones New rule for slow vehicles;
Possibly controversial
Comments on 11-307
11-310 Following too closely Legalizes riding in slipstream Comments on 11-310
11-313 Bicycle on shoulder of
controlled-access highway
Not submitted to sponsors  
11-403 Bicycle - Idaho stop sign law Not submitted to sponsors  
11-505 Pedestrians on shared-use paths Keep to the right --
the rule in most states.
Comments on 11-505
11-601 Right turns Clarifies merging
when there is a bike lane
Comments on 11-601
11-606 Bicycle - hand signals Update and conform to
best practice for bicyclists
Comments on 11-606
11-1105 Opening vehicle doors Adds permission to open
door to unload cargo
Comments on 11-1105
11-1201 (Sponsor comment but no proposal) Effect of Regulations Comments on 11-1201
11-1202 Traffic laws apply to bicyclists;
shoulder travel
Clarify status of bicyclists
on shoulders
Comments on 11-1202
11-1203 Bicycle - passengers Update for modern
equipment types and safety
Comments on 11-1203
11-1204 (Sponsor comment but no proposal) Clinging to vehicles Comments on 11-1204
11-1205 Bicycle - position on roadway As far right as practicable law Comments on 11-1205
11-1206 Riding two abreast Clarifies when it is permitted
and that overtaking is allowed.
Comments on 11-1206
11-1207 Carrying articles Allows switching hand positions. Comments on 11-1207
11-1208 Left turns Clarifies merging Comments on 11-1208
11-1209 Bicycles on sidewalks Adds restrictions
needed for safe operation
Comments on 11-1209
11-1212 (Sponsor comment but no proposal) Mopeds in bicycle lanes Comments on 11-1212
11-(new) Nonresponsive traffic signals (withdrawn from May
2013 sponsor distribution)
 
11-(new) Cell phones Not submitted to sponsors  
11-(new) Texting Not submitted to sponsors  
Chapter 12, Equipment
12-410 Viewscreens Not submitted to sponsors  
12-415 Earplugs Not submitted to sponsors  
12-702 Bicycle-headlight and taillight Not submitted to sponsors  
12-703 Bicycle-rear reflector Not submitted to sponsors  
12-705 Bicycle additional lights
and reflectors
Not submitted to sponsors  

 

Proposals as of March, 2013, and comments from sponsors

Richard Moeur asked me to format proposals as a model law, in a single document, a Model Law. I submitted this at the end of March, 2013.

The Model Law

This was submitted to sponsors for comment. A plan to discuss the comments at the summer, 2013 meeting in Portland, Maine did not materialize, due to the large volume of comments and an e-mail problem which resulted in late arrival of some comments. I collated the comments in August, 2013, and they are here:

Collated comments from sponsors

There was also a proposal from the Signals Committee, and it is here in a version including my comments. The document indicates approval by the Rules of the Road Committee, but I'm not sure of its status at present, as there have been further developments regarding bicycle signals.

Traffic signals proposal

More-detailed information on progress of UVC proposals may be gleaned from Bicycle Technical Committee e-mail messages.

Ron van Houten presented a proposal for a change in the rule for yielding to pedestrians. This is outside the BTC's purview, though of interest to BTC members.

There is also work underway (or maybe complete?) on trail crossings of railroad tracks, with some involvement from the BTC.

I've probably missed something here!

Proposals as of April, 2012

This was my first cut at revisions. Many of these suggestions relate mostly to bicycling, but others are of broader concern. A few of the proposals reflect ongoing developments in equipment: others reflect clarifications, or modern conditions, or fill in omissions.

I formatted the proposals using the official NCUTCD template. I felt somewhat over my head in taking on the task of preparing formal proposals to the Rules of the Road Committee, up to this point largely on my own. I realize that some of the language of these proposals and some of the discussion may need strengthening. I sent a link to the versions to members of the Bicycle Technical Committee and Rules of the Road Task Force. I mad the proposals available at http://john-s-allen.com/blog/?page_id=4286, for comment.

The BTC discussed these proposals at its summer 2012 meeting in Orlando, and made some changes. A few proposals were removed from the version sent to sponsors because they are outside the purview of the NCUTCD rules of the Road committee or are not established in the law of many states, and may be controversial.

The revised proposals were sent out to the Rules of the road Committee, which offered some comments.

Also see 2000 and 2001 UVC updates linked from the Ohio Bicycle Federation site.

The proposals as of April, 2012 are linked below. They are Microsoft Word documents using the standard NCUTCD template.

Chapter 1, Definitions
Section Topic Comment  
1-109 Bicycle - definition Inclusiveness  
1-186 Roadway - definition Clarify shoulder status  
1-(new) Electric bicycle - definition New category  
1-(new) Shared-use path - definition Define use  
1-(new)

Wheelchair - definition Correct omission  
Chapter 11, Rules of the Road
11-202 Bicycle - Idaho traffic signal law Likely controversial...  
11-301 Driving on the right Clarifies and
improves language
 
11-303 Overtaking a vehicle on the left Update to reflect modern
road conditions
 
11-304 When passing on the right is permitted Clarify that bicyclists may
overtake on the shoulder
 
11-307 No-passing zones New rule for slow vehicles;
Possibly controversial
 
11-310 Following too closely Legalizes riding in slipstream  
11-313 Bicycle on shoulder of
controlled-access highway
Codifies when
bicycles are permitted
 
11-403 Bicycle - Idaho stop sign law Likely controversial...  
11-505 Pedestrians on shared-use paths Keep to the right --
the rule in most states.
 
11-601 Right turns Clarifies merging
when there is a bike lane
 
11-606 Bicycle - hand signals Update and conform to
best practice for bicyclists
 
11-1202 Traffic laws apply to bicyclists;
shoulder travel
Clarify status of bicyclists
on shoulders
 
11-1203 Bicycle - passengers Update for modern
equipment types and safety
 
11-1205 Bicycle - position on roadway Rewrite to clarify  
11-1206 Riding two abreast Clarifies when it is permitted
and that overtaking is allowed.
 
11-1207 Carrying articles Allows switching hand positions.  
11-1208 Left turns Clarifies merging  
11-1209 Bicycles on sidewalks Adds restrictions
needed for safe operation
 
11-(new) Nonresponsive traffic signals Permits cautious crossing  
11-(new) Cell phones Adopt restrictions
already in state laws
 
11-(new) Texting Adopt restrictions
already in state laws
 
Chapter 12, Equipment
12-410 Viewscreens Update to reflect new
equipment types,
permitted and prohibited
uses
 
12-415 Earplugs Revise to reflect reasonable
uses and prohibitions.
 
12-702 Bicycle-headlight and taillight Improve wording  
12-703 Bicycle-rear reflector Allow brighter rear reflector  
12-705 Bicycle additional lights
and reflectors
Improves wording,
defines acceptable colors