Thursday, April 10, 2014

Law for Cyclists & Cars, by Mitchell Spoerl

Bicycles should be treated like a car on the road. Even if a shoulder is present, a cyclist is within rights to stay on the main part of the road. Due to the prevalence of bicycles in a college town, such as La Crosse, it is important for both the cyclists and motorists to know the rules of the road.

A cyclist should always allow three feet of room between them and anything on the road. That includes the curb, parked cars, cars in traffic, and other cyclists. That being said, two cyclists are allowed to ride tandem in the same lane, so long as they stay within the three-foot lane.

While it varies depending on the location, most of the time a cyclist is allowed to ride on the sidewalk. When on the sidewalk, the cyclist must warn other pedestrians when passing them from behind. At intersections, bicycles in sidewalks should be treated like any other pedestrian and given the right of way once crossing.

If a cyclist comes to a red-light-intersection and there are no cars present that have the right of way, then the cyclist may ride through the red light. However, they should have first come to a complete stop at the intersection and waited approximately forty-five seconds before attempting to cross.

If riding at night, a cyclist is required to have a white front headlight and a red rear taillight. The front light must be visible from at least five hundred feet away and the rear reflector must be visible from at least fifty feet away.