The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


June 21, 2008

Rules of the road apply to cyclists

When it comes to the law, rules for bicycle riders are similar to those for motorcyclists and motorists.

“The rules of the road apply. All riders are subject to all the duties applicable to motorists,” said Joe Tyree, coordinator of motorcycle safety for the Governor’s Highway Safety Department.

An avid bicycle rider himself, Tyree said tolerance is the key word for motorists and cyclists.

“By law, we can all share the road out there, and motorists and cyclists need to have tolerance for one another and respect for one another. We can share the road safely,” Tyree said.

A complete listing of specific rules for cyclists can be found in Section 17C-11-1 of the West Virginia Code.

Some of the most notable are:

- No more than one rider per bicycle on bikes without a permanent seat for a second rider.

- No person riding a bicycle, coaster, roller skates, sled or toy vehicle shall attach the same or himself to any street car or vehicle on a roadway.

- Riders cannot ride more than two abreast, except on paths or parts of roadways designed exclusively for the use of bicycles.

- When a designated bicycle path has been provided adjacent to a roadway, bicycle riders shall use the path and not the roadway.

- No person operating a bicycle shall carry any package, bundle or article that prevents the driver from keeping at least one hand upon the handle bars.

- Every bicycle when in use at night time shall be equipped with a lamp upon the front which shall emit a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front and with a red reflector on the rear of a type approved by the department which shall be visible from all distances from 50 feet to 300 feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful upper beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle.

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