Dear Jon: Bike riders and public roads, yes, it’s a challenge
A timely topic, given the many accidents we’ve been covering lately. Betty emailed me and asked, “Dear Jon, do riders not have to stop at stop signs? I've almost killed 3 in the past week that shot through 4-way stops!” Some say sharing the road has become more difficult.
Bike riders on public roads have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists and are subject to the same rules and regulations. It's all outlined in the California driver handbook.
More than 100 people are killed and hundreds of thousands more are injured in bicycle collisions in California each year. Some bicycle crashes are connected to the bicyclist's behavior, while others are due to the motorist's lack of attention.
Let me state frankly: Bike riders must stop at stop signs and stop lights, lest they take their lives into their own hands.
As a motorist, we should respect the right-of-way of bicyclists because they are entitled to share the road with us. I know how hard that can be at times, but it’s the law.
As a bicyclist, you can do your part on the road by maintaining control of your bicycle, wearing a helmet, being visible, alert, and communicating your intentions and riding with traffic.
I dug a little into the California vehicle code, which has laws pertaining to bicycle riders. Did you know it's against the law to operate a bicycle under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or a drug?
The defensive driving adage applies here -- “watch out for the other guy” --whether it is a bicycle, car or motorcycle.
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