VDOT News - Statewide



Wendy Jenkins 804-371-0253, 804-350-0858

Sept. 12, 2016

‘See and be seen’ is rule of thumb for all who use the roadways

RICHMOND, Virginia – Visibility and safety go hand in hand.

September is Bicyclist and Pedestrian Awareness Month, and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is reminding everyone who uses the roadways – motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians – to be visible and aware of others who are sharing the road. This includes not driving distracted.

According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, 15 bicyclists and 78 pedestrians were killed in crashes with motor vehicles last year in Virginia. In that same period, 661 bicyclists and 1,718 pedestrians were injured. 

The following tips promote safety for everyone: 

  • Pedestrians should always use crosswalks and sidewalks. If no sidewalk is available, pedestrians should walk facing traffic.
  • Motorists should be aware that every intersection is a crosswalk whether marked or not.
  • Both bicyclists and motorists must yield the right of way to pedestrians in any crosswalk unless the pedestrian has a “Don’t’ Walk” or red signal.
  • Those who bicycle and walk at night should be alert, wear bright colors and use lights. Bicyclists are encouraged to wear helmets.
  • Bicyclists should ride as far to the right as practical but motorists should be aware that bicyclists are allowed to ride in the middle of the lane for a variety of reasons, including traveling at the normal speed of traffic, turning, avoiding obstacles or if the lane is narrow.
  • Bicyclists may ride two abreast but need to move into a single file formation when overtaken from the rear by a faster vehicle.
  • Bicyclists are required to give an audible signal when passing pedestrians on paths.
  • Bicyclists are treated as vehicles and must obey traffic laws.
  • Motorists must pass at a reasonable speed at least three feet to the left of the overtaken bicycle.
  • Motorists may legally cross a double yellow line to pass bicyclists provided they can do so safely.
  • Don’t drive, bike or walk distracted.

Additional information about laws and safety and VDOT’s Statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Program can be found online.



Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.

Page last modified: April 4, 2018