One of the best ways to get around the city of New York is to take a bicycle, and this is also often the fastest given the levels of traffic. Something which too few people are aware of however, are the laws which apply to cyclists in the city, and this is something which you need to know if you do plan on using bike when getting around. Whilst there are a number of bike lanes which cyclists can use, riding around will also require some road riding? There are of course a lot of dangers here and you only need to ask a New York bicycle accident attorney about just how severe some of the accidents can be. In order to stay safe and on the right side of the law, here is what you need to know.
Where To Ride
If there are no cycle lanes available then you must ride in the street with the cars. It is not legal in the city to ride on the sidewalk and you can be fined for doing so. When riding on the street you must ride with the traffic and not against it.
Stop Signs and Traffic Lights
All cyclists must obey every traffic signal in the same way that cars do, whilst taking care to be aware of all other road users and pedestrians. If you need to cross the intersection then you need to pay attention to the pedestrian sign in front of you, and go only when ‘walk’ is indicated.
Using Cycle Lanes
If there are cycle lanes available then you must use them instead of going on the road. We have seen some cases of accidents involving motor vehicles, where the cyclist chose to ride on the road instead of the cycle lane. In such a case, the cyclist is deemed as being responsible because they didn’t use the lane which was provided.
Using Safety Equipment
Unless you are under the age of 14, you do not have to use a safety helmet when you are riding a bike. Having said this, wearing a helmet is a great idea and it is something which can help you top prevent an injury if you fall or if you are involved in a collision. If you are riding at night it is your legal obligation to use a red light at the back of the bike and a white light at the front. Additionally you may wish to add a light to the rear of your helmet so as to make yourself more visible to other road users.
Ultimately riding on the road means that you will have to respect the same laws that drivers do, albeit with one or two differences. Be sure that you feel confident riding on the road, and if you need some practice you can look for quiet neighborhoods on a Sunday to ride around, and build your confidence.