Police remind bikers, drivers of road responsibilities

Ridgefield police have outlined the following responsibilities for bike riders and drivers.

Responsibilities of cyclists include:

  • Every person riding a bicycle upon the travel portion of the roadway shall be granted the rights and subject to the duties applicable to the driver of any vehicle.
  • Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic shall ride as close to the right side of the roadway as is safe, except when:
  • Preparing for a left turn
  • Reasonably necessary to avoid hazards or hazardous riding conditions
  • Approaching an intersection with a right turn lane
  • Riding on a one-way road, where the cyclist may choose which edge of the roadway to ride along
  • Riding on parts of roadway designated for exclusive use of bicycles
  • A person riding a bicycle may occupy the entire traffic lane on roadways that are narrow to the point that motor vehicles can not safely pass.
  • Persons riding upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of the roadway set aside for exclusive use of bicycles. Persons riding two abreast shall not impede the normal and reasonable flow of traffic.
  • Any person riding a bicycle shall yield right of way to any pedestrian in a crosswalk and shall give an audible signal before overtaking a pedestrian.
  • No child fifteen years of age or younger shall operate a bicycle on the travel portion of any roadway without wearing protective headgear.
  • Any cyclist riding on the travel portion of the roadway shall signal their intention to turn.

Responsibilities of motorists include:

  • The driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass a rider of a bicycle, provided such overtaking and passing may be conducted safely and with adequate sight distance, and without interfering with oncoming traffic.
  • Safe distance means not less than three feet when passing a person riding a bicycle.
  • If a cyclist moves to the center of the lane, either because they will be making an upcoming left turn, avoiding a hazard on the edge of the road, or if they believe that they cannot safely be passed by a vehicle, drivers of vehicles must wait until the cyclist gives up control of the lane before passing.
  • No person operating a vehicle who passes a cyclist shall make a right turn at any intersection unless the turn can be made safely and will not impede the person riding the bicycle.
  • No person operating a motor vehicle that is stopped in traffic or on the side of the road shall move the vehicle from its stopped position until it can do so with reasonable safety. This includes safety with regard to bicycles.
  • The operator of any vehicle shall not follow another vehicle or bicycle more closely than is reasonable and prudent with relation to speed, traffic, road conditions, and weather.

Bicycle safety tips from the Ridgefield Police Department include:

  1. Protect your head. Wear a helmet.
  2. Assure bicycle readiness. Ensure proper size and function of the bicycle. Before each ride check the tires, brakes, and chain/gears to ensure proper working condition.
  3. Ride wisely. Learn and follow the rules of the road.
  4. Be predictable. Act like a driver of a vehicle.
  5. Be visible. See and be seen at all times. Utilize reflective clothing, reflectors, and cycle-mounted lights.
  6. “Drive” with care. Share the road.
  7. Stay focused. Stay alert.