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CDOT To Change Bicycle Safety Signs In Effort To Remind Motorists Of State Law

(CBS4) - Whatever road you're traveling on, in Colorado the chances you'll encounter bicyclists are growing and the chances you're passing them illegally are high.

"1 feet, 2 feet close to us it's kind of dangerous and it changes everything," One cyclist told CBS4 while stopped at the base of Lookout Mountain, a well-known challenging cycling route.

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(credit: CBS)

The law requiring drivers to give cyclists at least 3 feet of clearance when passing has been in place since 2009. Still, years later it seems not everyone behind the wheel is aware of or abiding by the change.

"Were they giving you 3 feet when they were passing you?" CBS4 reporter Karen Morfitt asked another cyclist.

"No. Some people are conscious (of it) and let us go by. Not everybody," she responded.

Last year a cyclist shared video of Denver police officers passing by him in a dangerously close manner. A complaint that was filed about the department prompted an investigation into what happened.

The Colorado Department of Transportation is now changing road signs to ensure that drivers know sharing the road means giving a required 3 feet of space when passing.

"We know those signs are more effective, when giving people what the law actually is makes it clear that it's a requirement. It's not optional," CDOT spokesman Bob Wilson told CBS4.

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(credit: CBS)

While CDOT can only make updates to signs on state roadways, some county and city roads may not see the same changes, but the message stays the same.

"It may not be posted on a particular county road, but it is a state law," Wilson said.

While cyclists would like to see it across the board, they are hopefully even a little change will go a long way.

"You have to remember it's a mom, it's a dad, brother, sister who's on a bicycle. It's not just a cyclist. You have to think about that," one cyclist said.

The law does allow for drivers to cross the center yellow line if safe to do so to meet the 3 feet of clearance. If caught breaking that law drivers can face a fine or points off your license.

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