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Bike To Work Day Is Friday, Drive Carefully

Flickr Photo/don_brubeck

National Bike to Work Day is May 17. That means lots more cyclists on the roads. Washington drivers should be even more careful, not only for safety reasons, but also because of a recent change to Washington state law.

RCW 46.61.526, also known as the Vulnerable User Law, increases the penalties for drivers who are found guilty of driving negligently in the second degree. It applies to drivers who hit cyclists, but also those who collide with pedestrians, or people riding animals, mopeds and motorcycles, among other things.

Here’s a summary of what it allows for:

  • Possible suspension of driver's licenses for up to 90 days.
  • Possible fine up to $10,287. (The actual law allows for a fine up to $5,000, but the state adds additional fines to infractions of this type because of other regulations. Those extra charges essentially double the fine that’s listed in RCW 46.61.526.)

As part of national Bike to Work Day, there are numerous events and giveaways going on around Seattle.
The Cascade Bicycle Club is organizing commuter stations, some of which will have free coffee and food. Here’s the group’s map of the stations. The bike club also plans to have experienced cyclists riding along major routes to help out new cyclists.  Also, theBicycle Alliance of Washington has details aboutother planned events across the state.

Help Derek Wang follow up on this story.

Year started with KUOW: 1998.