By RSA 265:143a, motorists passing a bicyclist must leave at least 3 feet of clear space between the motor vehicle and the bicycle. This reminder sign is located in Newport on NH 11/103 EB west of East Unity Road.
Bicycle Safety/ Share the Road Pamphlet
This pamphlet summarizes the rules for bicyclists and motorists in the State of New Hampshire.
General Rules for Both Bicyclists and Motorists
Bicyclists and motorists
must use due care around
pedestrians (RSA 265:37)
Bicyclists and motorists must yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk, whether the crosswalk is marked or not. (See RSA 259:17 for the definition of a crosswalk.)
Bicyclists and motorists must use due care around pedestrians everywhere (RSA 265:37).
Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists. Bicycles are vehicles (RSA 265:143).
Picture credit: Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center
Sharrows encourage cyclists to "claim the lane" in areas where experience suggests that safety may especially depend on claiming the lane - such as lanes that are too narrow for cars to safely and/or legally pass a cyclist, lanes adjacent to parking lanes, etc.
Sharrows along NH 120 in Hanover.
The safer lane position in general for a prudent bicyclist might surprise you. Watch this animation for more.
Avoid the "door" zone of parallel-parked cars. Take the full lane when your safety depends on it (RSA 265:144,XI(d)).
Cyclists must keep right? Not necessarily according to RSA 265:144. There are many common operational situations where cyclists must claim the lane for their own safety, including:
(a) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or any other vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
(b) When preparing for or making a left turn at an intersection or into a driveway.
(c) When proceeding straight in a place where right turns are permitted.
(d) When necessary to avoid hazardous conditions, including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, broken pavement, glass, sand, puddles, ice, or opening doors of parked vehicles.
Other drivers - and even officers of the law - may not understand why you must claim the lane for your own safety. Remain respectful to all while advocating for your own safety and negotiating for the space that you require. A cyclist posted a video on Youtube showing this common misunderstanding with a bicyclists safety and operational requirements. Watch the video.Wear bright clothing. Reflective clothing is required at night (RSA 265:144,XII).
Wearing a helmet can prevent a head injury. A helmet is required for those under 16 years of age (RSA 265:144,X).
When passing another cyclist on the road, make your presence known by calling out "On your left" as you approach.
Rules of the Road Summary
Drive your bicycle on the side of the road with other traffic. (RSA 265:16)
If driving bicycles two or more abreast unnecessarily impedes the flow of traffic, drive your bicycle Single File (RSA 265:144,V).
Use a light for night bicycle driving (RSA 266:86)
Maintain your brakes in good condition (RSA 266:88)
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Everyone is a Pedestrian website.
Pedestrians' Rights and Duties Section 265: 41
New Hampshire Department of Transportation Driving Toward Zero program has set a goal of zero highway fatalities.
The League of American Bicyclists recommends a specific goal of zero cyclist and pedestrian fatalities.
Promote accountability and an evidence-based approach when referring to highway "accidents."
RoadPeace recommends the term "crash" when a motor vehicle strikes, injures or kills a vulnerable user. Promote the use of accurate and constructive terminology when describing all incidents involving all highway-related property damage, injury and death.
Picture credit: League Cycling Instructor Michael Hurst of Windham. Used by permission. (Ocean Boulevard in Hampton following a crash that killed two bicyclists on September 21, 2013.)
League of American Bicyclists' "Smart Cycling" program instructional videos.
"A Safer Journey", Skills for Safe Walking for Ages 5 to 18 provided by the Federal Highway Administration.
The Bostonbikes.org Urban Cycling Quiz.