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FCPD ups traffic enforcement for cyclist, pedestrian safety campaign

Cyclist rides alongside cars (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Spring weather has arrived, inspiring more bicyclists and pedestrians to hit the pavement.

With a variety of travelers mingling on local roads, the Fairfax County Police Department is increasing its traffic enforcement for the next month, reminding drivers how to safely share the road with cyclists and pedestrians.

The department has joined other regional law enforcement agencies for the Metropolitan Council of Government’s Street Smart campaign, which launched April 25 and continues until May 22.

“You can also expect extra enforcement in the district,” FCPD Officer Evan Dicker said on Nextdoor, where he shared a one-minute informational video from the department with tips as well as the campaign’s website, bestreetsmart.net.

“Please remember to share the road and be considerate of others,” the video says. “If you come upon a cyclist, be patient, and give them room.”

The FCPD did not immediately return a request for more detail on what the enhanced enforcement will involve.

Virginia law requires cyclists to ride as close to right curbs when they’re traveling below the speed of other traffic, though they can ride alongside the left curb and in other situations, such as making a left turn.

They must also yield to pedestrians on sidewalks, provided there’s not a local ordinance banning them from riding there.

Cyclists can also pass vehicles on the left or right side of a vehicle if they stay in the same lane.

Drivers must give cyclists 3 feet to the left of them when passing. FCPD notes that motorists can cross double yellow lines if necessary.

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