You Can Become an Advocate for Bicycle Safety

If you ride a bike regularly, you’ve experienced the health benefits of biking. You’re healthier, and you enjoy the outdoors more often. And because you save on transportation costs, you have more money in your pocket, too!

Like most experienced bikers, you value bicycle safety, but maybe you’ve realized that your community isn’t bike friendly. If you ride to work on busy streets with no bike lanes, your commute can be dangerous. And if your community hasn’t passed bike-friendly legislation or invested in public bike education, you’re more likely to be injured or hit by a car. So much for health benefits!

What Are the Elements of a Bike-Friendly Community?

Communities that encourage bike riding have specific features:

  • Dedicated bike lanes on busy roadways
  • A network of connected bike lanes and paths that enable bikers to get around easily
  • Multi-use paths for off-road riding
  • Bike safety training courses
  • Plenty of bike parking
  • Educated drivers who share the road
  • Enforcement of safety rules

Bike-friendly neighborhoods offer a safer experience for riders and drivers alike. If your community doesn’t provide the infrastructure and rules necessary to protect riders, it’s time for you to become an advocate for bike safety.

Effective Advocacy

First of all, think local! Find–and join–a bike advocacy group in your community. If you can’t find one, consider starting one. There’s strength in numbers, and it’s easier to get your concerns heard–and taken seriously–if you’re organized.

Educate and inform the public. Encourage your local bike advocacy group to offer bike safety courses, and make sure that the curriculum includes information about the importance of a bike-friendly community.

Convince community leaders that bike safety is a win-win issue for them. According to The League of American Bicyclistsbiking is good for the economy, decreases traffic and pollution, and leads to a healthier populace. Invite elected officials to information sessions about the benefits of bike-friendly infrastructure and laws.

Lobby for change. Once you’ve educated local and state officials about pro-biking legislation, get on the phone often and remind them. Ask them to pass bike-friendly legislation like cell phone bans. Explain that minimum passing laws protect both bikers and drivers according to studies reported by Advocacy Advance.

Remember: as an advocate for bicycle safety, you’re giving your community a tool for economic growth. In the meantime, if you’ve been injured because of unsafe biking conditions, contact the law office of Gary Brustin.

What to Do When Even the Police Don’t Know Bicycle Laws

We may tell ourselves that bicycle culture is growing each and every day, but the honest truth is that the majority of non-cyclists have literally no idea what to do when sharing the road with a bicycle, much less what cyclists are supposed to do. However, what happens when not even police officers are familiar with the laws for cyclists? One cyclist in Oviedo, Florida found out the hard way after capturing an exchange between a police officer and himself on his helmet camera.

In the video, the officer asked cyclist Jon Holmes to move out of the lane onto the sidewalk, which is not state statute. The cyclist then countered with the correct law that stated that cyclists can use the lane if it is too narrow for cars to pass safely. After some more back and forth, the officer finally leaves. However, while it ended rather peacefully, it does show a major problem with cycling laws – not even police officers know what they are.

The officer was just trying to make sure Jon Holmes was safe, but when you have ridden the equivalent of 12,000 miles, you tend to be pretty knowledgeable of how to follow the law. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always mean you are safe.

While Holmes got off easy, there are plenty of cyclists that have received tickets and other punishments for arguing with officers over what is or isn’t the law around those parts. For cyclists that have gotten tickets for following the law, you may have legal recourse available to you. Contact us today.

Bicycle Accidents on the Rise In Chicago This Summer

Bicycling is on the rise, especially among twenty-somethings. Combine the benefits — great exercise, no fuel costs, maneuverability — and you’ve got a great way to get around. But along with the benefits, there are also plenty of risks such as low-visibility, failure to wear helmets, making risky maneuvers and taking unnecessary chances in the interest of shaving a few minutes off a commute, are among the things that cause accidents between cyclists and motor vehicles. On September 4th of this year, the Chicago Tribune ran an editorial about the alarming increase in fatal bicycle accidents in an around the city, urging both cyclists and vehicle operators to be more careful and alert.

The editorial, entitled Bicyclists, be careful. Motorists be watchful. Everyone, slow down, chronicled several fatal accidents that occurred on the streets of the city this summer:

  • In June, a 29-year-old bicycle messenger headed for Lake Michigan after work was struck and killed by a tour bus on North Michigan Avenue just a few hundred yards from his beach destination.
  • In July, a 25-year-old bike-share cyclist collided with a flatbed truck and was killed.
  • In August, a 20-year-old student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago was bicycling on North Michigan Avenue when a semi-truck crossed into the bike lane and fatally struck her. Just one day later, a 58-year-old man was killed by a cargo van while bicycling in Garfield Park.

The article goes on to note that these accidents are not unusual. They actually mirror a nationwide trend. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, bicycling accidents actually increased 12.2% in 2015.

Bicyclists and cars share the same roads, and both are responsible for changing these statistics by obeying traffic laws, watching out for pedestrians and pets, and respecting other drivers whether they’re in a car, a truck or on a 10-speed.

If you’ve been injured in a bicycling accident in the State of California contact us. Attorney Brustin is an avid cyclist himself and has been protecting cyclists rights for the past twenty years and counting!

Are Your Bicycle Tires An Accident Waiting to Happen?

If you use your bicycle everyday to ferry yourself around town, your tires are enduring a lot of wear and tear. Even veteran cyclists fail to note the condition of their tires at times. However, a blowout of a bicycle tire can be just as dangerous as a blowout on a car tire, especially if you frequently cycle in high traffic areas. Yet, when do you know if it is time to change out your bicycle tires?

  • Can you see threads on your tires contact surface?
  • Are there any visible holes, gashes, bubbles, or cracks on your tires?
  • Are your tires losing air faster than usual?
  • Do you see your tire’s wear indicator?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then it is tire to change out your tires. Whether you have endured any damage to your tires or you have just been using them for awhile, both can be dangerous to your safety and the safety of others. Just like a vehicle who we have to share the road with, maintaining your equipment is essential and we should never skimp on it. If there is any doubt on the condition of your tires or any other part on your bicycle, it is best to have it checked out by a mechanic at your local bike shop.

Have you been in a bicycle accident due to your tires or any other circumstance and need legal representation? Contact us today to see what the Law Office of Gary Bustin can do for you.