Like so many other cycling laws, as to whether or not you can actually ride your bicycle on the sidewalk can be a difficult thing to answer. The law on the subject is not covered by any federal guidelines and not every state law covers them either. Instead, the law tends to be specific to local municipalities. Which means if you want to know if you can in your area, then you need to check city law if there is nothing in the state law.
However, even if there is no explicit law regarding sidewalk cycling in your area, you will always find people who think there is. For some reason, riding your bicycle on the sidewalk even without laws against it is frowned upon by pedestrians. But why? Most cyclists have more problems with other motorists than they have with pedestrians. When they ride responsible on sidewalks, everyone is safer.
Are There Cycling Laws?
Of course, if there are no laws, then all the dirty looks in the world can’t stop you from doing it. However, always remember that if there is a bicycle lane available, you should be using it. So many people rally against bicycle lanes because it takes away driver parking and they claim cyclists don’t use them. This is why when a city makes preparations for cyclists, they should be using them, even though the closer you are to cars occasionally means the closer you are to danger. However, if no cyclists choose bicycle lanes over sidewalks, the motorist will never learn to share the road and bike lanes will stop being built.
As for the legality of sidewalk cycling, it is explicitly banned in very few cities, but cyclists should only use it when necessary. When roads are too narrow or bike lanes are not available, you should be able to go to the sidewalk if you can. For more information on cycling laws and safety, contact us today.
Ohio is one of the most unsuspecting states to be bicycle friendly, but with more riders taking to the road in their largest cities like Cleveland and Cincinnati, the state’s government has been forced to take notice. This has led to a slew of new cycling friendly laws including this latest one that allows cyclists to still get around despite aging infrastructure.
The problem on many city streets in Ohio is that bicycles often have a problem triggering a light change at the detector. This means that a cyclist and the cars behind them could be forced to wait until a car in the other lane triggers the change. However, with the new law, cyclists can now bypass this.
The new cycling law states that in the event of this situation if the cyclist is able to check that both directions are clear, they can ride through a red light. However, cars will still have to wait unless there is a clear malfunction with the light. This law was so desperately needed that Governor John Kasich attached an emergency clause so it went into effect right away.
Attached to the bill, was another new motor vehicle and cycling law that required motorists to give at least three feet of passing space between their vehicle and a bicycle, joining more than a dozen states that already have similar laws.
While this is great news for riders in Ohio, accidents are still bound to happen. No matter how safe a state makes it for cyclists, uninformed motorists will still be a danger. If you were hurt in a bicycle accident and need legal representation, contact us today.
Some states have them written down, other states don’t. However, if you are a cyclist, you have certain rights to ride your bicycle. It is not illegal unless otherwise posted and drivers have to respect your right to do it. So if you have certain rights, what are they?
The rights of a cyclist include:
- The right to ride on any public street except limited access expressways and areas where signs prohibit bicyclists.
- The right to use either hand in order to signal a stop or turn to nearby vehicles.
- The right to ride on the right side of motor vehicles in the travel lane.
- Cyclists may be able to ride their bicycle on sidewalks, but only if the area is a non-commercial district and doesn’t have posted signs prohibiting it.
- Cyclists have the right to ride two abreast in a lane so long as there is more than two lanes of travel in the same direction.
Unfortunately, while all those are well within a cyclist’s rights, it doesn’t always mean that it is safe to exercise those rights. The problem is that while cyclists may know their rights, many driver’s do not. This means that driver’s may take unnecessary risks in order to go around slower cyclists, even though they are well within their rights to ride there. This is how accidents happen.
While cyclists shouldn’t have to make compromises, they may need to in order to stay safe. If you were exercising your rights and got into an accident with a vehicle, contact us today. The Law Office of Gary Brustin is dedicated to representing the rights of injured cyclists.
If you are cycling the road in Michigan this year, your ride could become significantly safer than it has been. Well, at least if a potential bill gets made into law. This new bill is currently in legislature which would require drivers to give more breathing room to cyclists as well as adding enhanced safety instructions for handling cyclists being included in state driver’s education courses.
The guidelines in question would require drivers to give Michigan road cyclists a set 5-foot buffer when passing them on roads that do not have a set bicycle lane. Currently, the state has no set mandate on how far vehicles needs to be when passing a cyclist. Most people go with the good rule of thumb of “not hitting the cyclist” when passing, but this leads to a number of close calls and terrifying accidents.
Like in most states, these close calls and contentious relationship between cyclists and drivers comes from a lack of knowledge on how to handle road cyclists. By making a five-foot mandatory buffer, it will allow more drivers to know that they can’t pass a cyclist unless they can do it safely. Ultimately, this teaches them that it is not the cyclists’ responsibility to “move over.”
Going a step further, if this buffer is made into law, then it will be taught in driver’s education courses and drivers caught breaking the law may be forced to attend education courses to rectify their mistake.
While this law will cut down on cycling accidents, it likely won’t stop them altogether. However, there are still people out there that represent the rights of cyclists. If you have been in a cycling accident and need legal advice, contact us today.