Equal considerations for ensuring bicyclist safety

Check out this presentation from NC Bike Ed.

Here’s a summary of key issues covered:

* Bicycles are normal and expected traffic in the roadway.  Overtaking traffic should be cautious, reduce speed and wait until it is clearly safe to pass.  Usually this means ensuring the oncoming lane is clear of traffic to pass.

* The premise that bicyclists should be operating off of the roadway and yielding to faster traffic is incorrect.  Bicycles and cars are =.  All people are equal on the road, no matter how they are traveling.

* Most injuries to bicyclists don’t involve cars.  Bicyclists must consider many risks besides motor vehicles.  We don’t want to encourage cyclists to ride too close to the right side of the road or hazards.

* Yield to traffic already in the road ahead.  “Faster drivers must yield to slower and stopped traffic ahead.  Drivers must lower their speeds so their stopping distance is less than their sight distance”.

* Bicycles should yield before moving laterally.  Use a shoulder check to look back and ensure the lane is clear before moving laterally.  This is important for bicyclists moving to pass a slower bicyclist, walker, hazard or peeling off the front of the group.

* Bicycles may use the full travel lane when conditions and safety considerations merit.

* Bicycles are traffic and cannot be cited for impeding traffic.  In Arizona by law, if five or more vehicles are waiting to pass then bicyclists should find a place to safely move over to facilitate a pass.

* Riding abreast means matching speed.  It does not affect bicyclists passing others.  In Arizona  two abreast is legal.  Bicycles may operate in the general travel lane.

* Bike lanes and shoulders are legally optional for bicyclists to use.  Lane positioning is based on the bicyclists’ requirements for safe operating conditions in the present road environment.

* Intentional acts to endanger or threaten cyclists are criminal acts, not traffic violations.

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