|"As Far Right as Practicable" Applies Equally to All on This Road? well, Unless a Court Decides Otherwise|
Below, follow both laws, extracted from "Texas Statutes:"
Sec. 545.051. DRIVING ON RIGHT SIDE OF ROADWAY. (a) (omitted)
(b) An operator of a vehicle on a roadway moving more slowly than the normal speed of other vehicles at the time and place under the existing conditions shall drive in the right-hand lane available for vehicles, or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, unless the operator is:(1) passing another vehicle; or(2) preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway..
Sec. 551.103. OPERATION ON ROADWAY. (a) ...a person operating a bicycle on a roadway who is moving slower than the other traffic on the roadway shall ride as near as practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway, unless:(1) the person is passing another vehicle moving in the same direction;(2) the person is preparing to turn left at an intersection or onto a private road or driveway;(3) a condition on or of the roadway, including a fixed or moving object, parked or moving vehicle, pedestrian, animal, or surface hazard prevents the person from safely riding next to the right curb or edge of the roadway; or(4) the person is operating a bicycle in an outside lane that is:(A) less than 14 feet in width and does not have a designated bicycle lane adjacent to that lane; or(B) too narrow for a bicycle and a motor vehicle to safely travel side by side.
Let us suppose, for the sake of argument, that two laws instead stated:
"people shall drink from the nearest available water fountain," and a second, similar law stated "colored people shall drink from the nearest available water fountain except..."
Is that what cycling advocates are looking for when they advocate for separated facilities or otherwise protected facilities? I think not, but the laws often say otherwise. If repeal of 551.103 were a major goal of a hypothetical group of Texas bike advocates, I'd join that hypothetical group right away. Otherwise, I think I need some explanation of why I should get all excited. Mostly, the roads I ride on have either no lanes at all, or they have traffic lanes that are less than fourteen feet in width. Why do I need two laws to apply to me? Shouldn't one be enough, or is this a variant on the "hate crimes" and "vulnerable user" laws (which redundantly criminalize already illegal behavior) that instead targets cyclists?
In the meantime, I am thankful that no police in my vicinity have decided to prosecute me due to them "forgetting" the exceptions to 551.103 that apply when marked lanes are involved. No, I don't plan to move to Ennis.