A quick guide to bicycle laws

When it comes to riding bicycles on Arizona roads, everyone must know the laws that pertain to cyclists and motorists.

Bicyclists and motorists in Arizona need to be aware of the laws that are specific to them. In 2014, there were 29 bicyclist fatalities according to the Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety. By enforcing laws associated with bike riders, the number of fatalities, and even injuries, may go down over time. Anyone getting out on the road should be familiar with the rules that pertain to him or her no matter the mode of transportation that is used.

Laws specific to riders

In order to keep those who ride bikes safe, the state has set up some laws that must be followed by the person on the bicycle. For example, a cyclist cannot grab onto the back of another vehicle while on the road. Unless on an exclusive path for bikes, bicyclists should avoid riding more than two abreast. To make sure everyone on the road is safe, bicyclists need to use the proper equipment, such as the following:

  • Front and rear lights
  • Working brakes
  • Regular seats

Anyone riding a bike must also be able to use at least one hand on the handlebars. This means that the rider should not carry large parcels that prohibit him or her from using at least one hand.

Laws for everyone

In certain cases, the laws for motorists and cyclists are the same. For example, to prevent unnecessary collisions with another vehicle or person, both groups should properly follow traffic signals and yield to pedestrians who are on sidewalks or in crosswalks. Drivers and riders should look behind themselves before switching lanes, and signals, whether blinkers or hand gestures, should be used to indicated the type of turn that is going to be made. Slower road users should stay to the right of the road, whether in the right lane or close to the shoulder, in order to allow faster moving traffic to continue going.

Laws specific to motorists

Those who drive motor vehicles on the road also need to follow laws in order to keep the cyclists safe. This means that a vehicle should only overtake a bicycle when there is enough space to safely pass. If, for example, the cyclist had to get over to avoid an obstacle, the motorist should not pass the bike until it is back in its own lane or closer to the shoulder. Motorists should always be on the lookout for motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians to ensure everyone's safety.

When it comes to sharing the road in Flagstaff, there are laws and regulations in place to make it easier for bicyclists and motorists alike to safely traverse the roads. If an accident does take place on the roadway, it may be beneficial to speak with a knowledgeable attorney.