Bicycle and Motor Vehicle Duties Related to Bicycles, Part 1

Closed Routes

Though bicycles enjoy the same rights as motor vehicles, there are expectations to this with some routes in Washington State that are closed to bicycles. Due to construction or because the route in question is too dangerous for bicycles to share their motor vehicles, the Washington State Department of Transportation keeps a list of closed routes with suggested alternatives where available. You can find this list on the Internet at http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/bike/closed.htm. In addition, local municipalities may have their own restrictions as to where bicycles have access.

Yielding to Pedestrians

When on a sidewalk or crossing, a bicycle is regarded as a pedestrian, but a bicycle traveling at speed is still a potentially dangerous machine that moves silently and can catch pedestrians unaware-especially when approaching from behind. The law therefore states that bicycles must yield the right of way to pedestrians.

Riding at Night

As with other vehicles, the visibility of bicyclists is of major importance. Because of their narrow profile, bicycles are especially difficult to see at night. To make them more visible, Washington State law requires bicycles to display a white front light that is visible from at least 500 feet way and a red rear reflector. For added protection, a red rear light may also be used along with a reflector.

To continue reading, order your free copy of Wheels of Justice: Washington State Bicycle Accident Law by clicking on this link.

 

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