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New bike law takes effect in Md.

America's love affair with automobiles and the open road is experiencing something of a mid-life crisis. The roads aren't so empty anymore and some days seem to be swarming with bikes.

Grant, a 42-year-old mother of two, said she gets passed by an aggressive driver at least twice a week.

"By aggressive, I mean someone intentionally getting well within three feet of me and increasing their speed as they pass. Sometimes this is accompanied by cursing and/or a loud horn," she said. "To be fair, the vast majority of the drivers are extremely cautious and respectful."

Matt Tebo of Kensington related an incident on Beach Drive last fall.

"A driver buzzed [close to] me, stopped suddenly right in front of me, and I wound up smashing my head on his rear windshield," Tebo said. "He drove away with me on his trunk!

"Perhaps if the three-foot rule were in place then, they could have gotten the guy, but I'm skeptical," Tebo said. "I had the plate number, but the car had a D.C. plate and the incident occurred in Montgomery County in a federal park. I wonder how the new law would handle a situation like that? The Montgomery County cop told me they couldn't do anything."

David G. Tambeaux said he and his cycling friends in Howard County are victimized by chronic offenders.

"We have been regularly buzzed lately by a guy in a dark-blue VW Jetta who, oddly enough, has bicycle roof and rear-attached bicycle racks," Tambeaux said. "The last time was two weeks ago, when he passed us going approximately 50-plus mph in a 35 mph zone, giving about 15 inches room."

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