A Refresher on Cycling Laws
There's nothing like hopping on a bicycle to bring back a sense childhood abandon and thrill; the feeling of flying and of being able to go anywhere.
Perhaps that was going through comedian Robin Williams' mind when he recently rode his bike on a New York City sidewalk. Lucky for him, no one was injured and the cops let him go with a caution.
I don't always abide by cycling laws, perhaps more often than I care to admit. Aside from pesky fines and the general embarressment of being caught, an obvious and good reason to follow the laws is to simply to be safe. Aside from helping to keep you from harm, these laws also help us be considerate of the safety of those around us.
You can read up on the cycling laws and bylaws including helmet wearing and staying off of sidewalks, but here's a round up of bike laws you may not have known:
Put a light on it:
"A cycle operated on a highway between 1/2 hour after sunset and 1/2 hour before sunrise must have the following equipment:
- a lighted lamp mounted on the front and under normal atmospheric conditions capable of displaying a white light visible at least 150 m in the direction the cycle is pointed;
- a red reflector of a make or design approved by the superintendent for the purposes of this section;
- a lighted lamp, mounted and visible to the rear, displaying a red light." Section 183, subsection 3 of the British Columbia Motor Vehicle Act.
No no-hands tricks:
"must keep at least one hand on the handlebars" Section 183, subsection 2e of the British Columbia Motor Vehicle Act.
No daring clown-car bicycle feats:
"must not use the cycle to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped" Section 183, subsection 2g of the British Columbia Motor Vehicle Act.
I can't hear you:
"No person shall ride a bicycle upon a street while wearing headphones, or any other manufactured device capable of transmitting sound, over or in close proximity to both ears, except that this prohibition shall not apply to the wearing of a device designed and worn for the purpose of improving the wearer's ability to hear sounds emanating from outside of the device." City of Vancouver Street and Traffic By-Law No. 2849, 60A.
Ding-ding, coming through!:
"No person shall ride a bicycle upon a street unless the bicycle is equipped with a bell capable of being used as a warning." City of Vancouver Street and Traffic By-Law No. 2849, 60B.
For more information on safe cycling, read Tips and Resources for Safe Cycling.
What kind of cyclist are you, law abiding or an outlaw cyclist? Do you wear a helmet every time you ride?