Bicycle Friendly Delaware Act

The state of Delaware passed a package of updates to rules-of-the-road in 2017; as outlined by

In October 2017, Delaware’s governor signed the Bicycle Friendly Delaware Act, placing into state law some cutting-edge, pro-bike reforms that put Delaware emphatically into a category of one among U.S. states when it comes to favorable statutory law treatment of cycling. The highlights:
1. requirement that drivers have to change lanes to pass;
2. the “Delaware Yield” at stop signs;
3. deletion of the “as far to the right as practicable” provision;
4. no aggressive honking at cyclists.

Here is Bike Delaware’s page on the Act. For whatever reason they annoyingly don’t seem to have any of the actual bill, or laws quoted. I have yet to find the actual language of the law, though i’m sure it’s googleable.

Delaware Code

I’m still looking for the “Bicycle Friendly Act” in bill/markup style, but DE’s rules of the road can be found at Delaware Code Title 21, Chapter 41. As of this writing seems to be already updated with the Act, see e.g. here’s the new Change-lanes-to-pass requirement:

§ 4116 Overtaking a vehicle or bicycle on the left.
…(1) On a roadway with at least 2 travel lanes proceeding in the same direction and if a travel lane proceeding in the same direction exists to the left, the driver of the overtaking vehicle shall, yielding the right-of-way and proceeding with caution, move completely into the lane to the left before passing…

DE already had some 3 foot language, not sure from what year, but it seems to be have tweaked a little.

Here’s the slower-than-normal-speed AFRAP/narrow-lane replacement language:

§ 4196 Bicycling on right side of roadway; exceptions.
(b) Upon all roadways any bicycle proceeding at less than the normal speed of vehicle traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall be operated in the right-hand travel lane. If the right-hand travel lane is wide enough for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side-by-side within the lane, a bicycle operator shall operate far enough to the right as judged safe by the operator to facilitate the movement of such overtaking vehicles unless the bicycle operator determines that other conditions make it unsafe to do so.


By the way, I don’t think this is new, but here is the wording for their no-passing zone exception (Arizona has no such exception):

§ 4120 No-passing zones; exceptions.
…(2) When reasonably necessary to pass a vehicle or bicycle proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing and where only 1 travel lane proceeding in a given direction exists but while still obeying the limitations described in §§ 4118 and 4119 of this title;…



One thought on “Bicycle Friendly Delaware Act”

  1. Great to see some movement in this area. So many states have bicycle laws on the books that are woefully antiquated in today’s world.

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