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Rules of the Roads for Bicycles

By Evan L. Kaine

Did you know that a bicycle is considered a vehicle in the state of Georgia?

If you didn’t know this fun fact, you do now. Whether you are an avid bicyclist or have found yourself passing one, it is very important to be acquainted with the laws. To get your wheels turning, try to answer the questions below:

  1. When passing a bicyclist who is riding in a “bicycle lane”, do you always yield?
  2. When overtaking a bicyclist proceeding in the same direction as the driver, how many feet do you allow between your vehicle and the bicycle to be considered a safe distance?
  3. True or False? A person operating a bicycle may carry any package, bundle or other article which allows him/her to keep at least one hand upon the handlebars.
  4. Every bicycle, when in use at nighttime, shall be equipped with a light on the front which shall emit a white light visible from a distance of ___________ feet.
  5. True or False? No person shall transport a child under the age of one (1) year as a passenger on a bicycle on a highway, roadway, bicycle path, bicycle lane, or sidewalk.

Answers are as follows:

  1. Yes! Whether a designated bicycle lane is given to a cyclist, the other vehicle must always yield.
  2. The term ‘safe distance’ means not less than three (3) feet (O.C.G.A. § 40-6-56).
  3. FALSE! No person operating a bicycle shall carry any package, bundle or other article which prevents him/her from keeping at least one hand upon the handlebars.
  4. 300
  5. True. (My parents definitely broke this law when I was a kid).

This information is to provide awareness to many of those individuals who have neglected “safe” driving and safe bicycling skills. To put this into perspective, the amount of bicycling-related fatalities were up 28% in 2012.  There were 18 deaths of bicyclists on Georgia roads in 2012, including a 9-year-old and a 12-year-old. Both children were riding in their own residential neighborhoods — and both made mistakes while riding that caused their deaths.

Stay informed and be aware of your surroundings—whether you are pedaling or driving. Cycling benefits our physical and mental health as well as benefiting the environment.  Let’s keep our Georgia highways safe! For more information visit www.georgiabikes.org.

For more information on this article, contact Kaine Law.

Published October 14, 2014
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