During these summer months I am sure you have encountered a bicyclist on a main road and you weren’t quite sure what traffic laws they were supposed to abide by and how you should approach the situation. I have. Particularly when there is heavy traffic and you need to get around the bicyclist to prevent further traffic issues. Bicycling on Ohio Roads is this week’s EK Agency blog topic and will cover a few bicycling traffic laws, offer a few tips on encountering a bicyclist and mostly how to stay safe.
Instead of boring you with Ohio Revised Codes regarding bicycling on Ohio roads the following is a brief summary of some main Ohio laws:
- Bicyclists are considered to be operating a “vehicle” under Ohio law.
- When bicycling on Ohio roads the bicyclists should stay to the right section of the lane they are riding in.
- When the bicyclists and motorists are stopped at a traffic light or traffic signage, the cyclist must obtain a position in line behind other vehicles until the intersection is cleared then the cyclist should reclaim the right sign of the lane they occupy.
- Bicyclists must utilize turning and stopping signals according to the universal hand signals.
- Bicyclists are required to travel at a speed to not impede traffic however, the law considers the bicyclist’s capability of speed. This means if it is a 45 mph zone; the bicyclist is expected to travel as fast as safely possibly but may not reach 45 mph.
- If you are an in experienced bicycle rider you must follow the pedestrian rules when crossing an intersection until you are able to ride with traffic safely.
Due to society’s economic changes and personal choices to reduce pollution and simply the enjoyment of riding, there has been a dramatic increase in bicycling. Here is just one city’s recent result; Knoxville, Tennessee has seen a 125% increase in bicycling as mass transit between 2007 and 2010. Washington, D.C., several cities in California and other metropolitan cities are constructing bike lanes on major streets and arteries feeding the cities. The increase of Bicycling on Ohio roads has created a recent push for the revision of bicycle traffic laws to improve the safety of everyone on the road. The outcomes are still pending.
We have all been behind a slow bicyclist when we were in a hurry. And many bicyclists feel nervous riding on roads with moderate to heavy traffic. EK Agency urges their clients and friends to be patient when bicycling on Ohio roads. Vehicles should allow enough room to safely pass a cyclists; if they are to your right, they are in the right. Bicyclists should also share responsibility and be conscious of vehicles around them and know your hand signals and laws. The world is changing and with it so are modes of transportation. With kindness and patience everyone can go about their choice of transportation in a safe manner for everyone. If you have any questions related to your vehicle or regarding your role as a safe vehicle operator contact EK Agency with any questions.