Mar 05 2014

Bicycle for Two

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Is it ever legal to ride a bike on a sidewalk? We have all done it. All of us who have kids have seen or encouraged them to do it. But is it legal? The short answer is yes and no depending on how old you are, and where you are doing it.

Most people know (and surprisingly many still don’t) that as cyclists we have to obey the same traffic laws as motor vehicle drivers. In most states cyclists can get speeding tickets for breaking the speed limit. It’s not uncommon for cyclists to get stopped and ticketed for running red lights, or stop signs. The same traffic rules always apply to cyclists with some modifications or additions depending on where your age and where you live.

Obviously cars can’t drive on sidewalks… but when can cyclists?  Laws regarding bicycling on sidewalks vary from state to state but most importantly the local jurisdictions set the rules. That is a frustrating answer, but it is the truth. It can be 100% legal in one city in your state and 100% illegal in the next city. Paying attention to the local ordinances of your home state or the states through which you cycle are paramount to your safety and of course your potential liability in the awful event of a bicycle accident.

Many municipalities lump cyclists in with pedestrians in terms of their mindset and even in some laws. Sidewalks are definitely meant for pedestrians and out of safety concerns some cities grant exceptions to cyclists allowing them to bike on their sidewalks. This is particularly true in some states wherein cities have granted an exception for children under a certain age.  Even if legal, cycling on a sidewalk can be dangerous as you may encounter other cyclists, runners, landscapers, etc. and your potential for liability as a cyclist may increase simply by choosing to be on the sidewalk.

Should you ever have an accident involving a motor vehicle while clearly obeying the cycling laws in the state of Utah let the experienced Bicycle accident attorneys at William Rawlings & Associates help you with your claim.  We will take over the stress and headache of having to deal with the Insurance Company who is dragging their heels to contact you and reimburse you for your damaged bike that you are anxious to get repaired or replaced.  We will also help you get the expert medical attention you need especially in cases of fractured arms or legs!