I love to go for long calorie burning bike rides, but I also enjoy taking my kids out for a fun leisurely ride. But it can be unsettling in certain parts of our community, especially where no sidewalks exist and fellow riders or drivers do not know the rules of the road. Believe it or not, Chapter 551 and Chapter 552 of the Transportation Code, are dedicated to rules that apply to cyclists and pedestrians.
Most people believe that cars should just yield to pedestrians and that is always a good rule of thumb to ensure safety for cars and pedestrians alike. However, when an unfortunate accident occurs, fault must be decided and it usually comes down to which operator violated the rules of the road. Here are some helpful tips to avoid an accident and to make sure you as a cyclist follow the rules of the road
1. Bikes are entitled to the same rights, duties and responsibilities as motor vehicles.
2. One person per bike rule–if your bike only has one seat; then you can only carry one person.
3. You must sit on the seat of your bike while riding and that seat must be attached to the bike.
4. You cannot carry anything that prevents you from keeping at least one hand on the handlebars at all times.
5. A bicyclist must use hand signals to signal their planned course of action–just like cars. Here are the signals:
STOP: Extend the left hand and arm downward
LEFT TURN: Extend the left hand and arm horizontally
RIGHT TURN: Extend the left hand and arm upward, or extend the right hand and arm horizontally.
6. Bicyclist cannot ride at night unless the bike is equipped with the following:
A headlamp located on the front of the bike that emits a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet.
A red reflector or red lamp located on the rear of the bike or a red lamp visible from a 500 feet distance from the rear.
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Farrah Martinez PLLC
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Houston, TX, USA
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