Pennsylvania Vehicle Code section 3331e states that
Interference with pedalcycles.--No turn by a driver of a motor vehicle shall interfere with a pedalcycle proceeding straight while operating in accordance with Chapter 35 (relating to special vehicles and pedestrians).
It's not particularly clear to me what counts as "interference" in this case, and where liability lies when a cyclist going straight hits a car turning. If we assume that both the driver and the cyclist have a green light, the cyclist is in a bike lane that becomes dashed as it approaches the intersection, and road conditions mean the cyclist could not safely merge left into the car lane, I can think of several scenarios-
- A car wishing to turn sees a cyclist in front of them proceeding straight, and accelerates to pass the cyclist and makes the turn inches in front of the cyclist, but screeches to a halt to avoid hitting a pedestrian in the crosswalk.
- A car had started making a turn when the cyclist was a distance behind, then stopped to wait for pedestrians to finish crossing in the crosswalk. The cyclist sees this and has time to stop, but in a fit of rage decides to ram the car instead.
- The same as above, but the cyclist is distracted (a roadside billboard for 50% off lycra pants) and doesn't notice the car in time.
- The same as above, but the cyclist was visible (or should have been visible) to the driver when the driver started turning, and was close enough behind that the cyclist would have reasonably had trouble braking in time (PA law requires that bicycles be able to stop from 15mph in 15 ft on clean, dry pavement).
The first two seem reasonably clear (the first the car is at fault, the second the cyclist), but the other two I'm less sure about. Can anyone help me understand who's liable for any damages that occur? Does it matter if it's the car that's damaged or the bicycle that's damaged?