Bicyclists must obey rules of the road

May 20, 2013

With the weather getting better, more people turn their attention to their bikes. With the economic measure to save on gas, biking is the best option to travel short distances. But to be on the safe side, bikers must know the laws and obey.

In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia, bicycles are classified as vehicles; therefore they have the same privileges and duties as other motorists. But bicyclists must also follow specific laws provided as bicycles are open and quite vulnerable with its limited speed. Vehicle laws are special and do not apply to other vehicles. By learning and observing these laws, you will be guaranteed safety, not only your own but the bicycling and whole community as well.

Here are some of the required laws for bicyclists in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:

1. Brakes are applied to bring a bicycle traveling at a speed of 15 MPH to stop completely within 15 feet;

2. Red reflector at the rear must be visible in light shining from 150 feet to 300 feet to the rear;

3. Install amber reflectors on each side;

4. Aside from a reflector, use red light at the rear that will be visible within 500 feet to the rear; and

5. The front white light must be visible from at least a distance of 500 feet to the front that must be on from between sunset and later.

People must accept the fact that bicycle riders on public streets and anywhere else have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of any kind of vehicles. At the same time, they are subject to the same rules and regulations as any other vehicle on the road.

Bike riders must: (1) follow all traffic signals; (2) must halt at stop signs,(3)  must  follow in the same was as other vehicles and not go to the opposite; (4) must give the motorists and bicyclists near the signal of their intentions. In most states, helmets are required, especially for kids who ride bikes and particularly for people who value their safety.

Riding a bike gives one a wonderful experience in being one with the environment but you should also be thinking about all those on the road with you.

This week, a new law went into effect in Pennsylvania to bring closure to the on-going feud that is taking place on the roads. The new law requires cars to give bikes a distance of at least four feet on all sides when passing and in making turns, cars have to yield to cyclists. However, drivers are now permitted to make legal cross towards the center line to go around a bike.

Nicholas Mirra, representing the Bike Coalition of Philadelphia, stated that sometimes police coming out with their yard stick is helpful when there is a crash. He mentioned that their Coalition in Pa., as well as in 20 other states now have bike laws on the books to protect riders.

Mirra added that respect is a two-way street as bicyclists have to show courtesy to pedestrians but not blowing as they passed through red lights. Drivers have also the responsibility, and drivers to look out for more vulnerable road users.

Whatever news laws are regulated what remains are still the common sense and courtesy which do not need to be legislated; however, it seems that the new law will encounter difficulty in its enforcement.

If you have received a traffic ticket, please contact an experienced  Philadelphia Traffic Lawyer to know about rules of the road. Protect right to drive legally.


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