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RULES OF THE ROAD

MOTORIST, CYCLIST, & PEDESTRIAN SAFETY

Most states treat bicycles as vehicles for the purpose of traffic laws. Bicyclists must follow all traffic laws that other motorists follow unless following the law is impractical because of the nature of a bicycle.

Bicycle safety requires that bicyclists know and understand traffic laws. Many states have specific traffic laws related to bicycles. Riders should also know and follow these laws.

CYCLISTS

Who Has the Right of Way?

Bicyclists must yield the right of way under the same conditions as motor vehicles. Therefore, a bicyclist must yield the right of way to pedestrians. They must also stop at stop signs and obey traffic lights.

Riders must signal turns and travel with the flow of traffic. They should also yield the right of way when directed to do so by a yield sign. When entering a lane of traffic, the bicyclist must yield the right of way to oncoming traffic in the lane.

When a bicyclist is traveling in a designated bicycle lane, motorists need to use caution when turning right. If the bicyclist is traveling straight through the intersection, the rider generally has the right of way.

The same applies to a bicyclist traveling through an intersection when a motorist makes a left-hand turn. The bicyclist has the right of way.

However, just because a bicyclist has the right of way, it does not ensure that a motorist will yield the right of way. A motorist may not see a bicycle approaching because the motorist is distracted or the bicycle is in the driver’s blind spot.

Therefore, bicyclists should never assume a motorist will act accordingly and yield the right of way. Bicyclists should take steps to avoid right-of-way accidents whenever possible.

PEDESTRIANS

Pedestrians must remember the following rules:

 

State law requires you to use a crosswalk when one is available. If an intersection has a traffic signal, press the button and wait for the WALK signal. Intersections with no push buttons automatically give WALK signals. Be patient!

 

Do not cross if the signal says DON’T WALK.

 

Before you cross a roadway, stop at the curb, look left, look right, and look left again for traffic. Do this even on a one-way street. Be alert while crossing. Be especially alert at intersections that allow motor vehicles to turn right on red.

 

If you must enter the street from between parked cars, stop and look before crossing.

 

You must use a sidewalk when one is available. When no sidewalk is available, you should walk on the shoulder facing traffic. Never walk along or across expressways, interstate highways, or turnpikes. Wear clothing with bright colors or reflective strips, especially at night.

BICYCLE SAFETY

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