Bicycle Buffer Zone Laws

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Bike riding is only a fun activity if you feel safe and have enough space to do it. Everyone loves the freedom to ride long distances and in various places. But not knowing about bicycle buffer zone laws can make biking unsafe.

Sharing the road is a challenge. Each day we deal with traffic, roaming pedestrians, and other modes of transportation. This does not leave much room on the road for bikes. Yet not every state has the same bicycle safety laws, so check yours. It is also essential to know and follow road safety rules.

 

Rules of the Road: Bicycle Safety

To remain safe as a bicyclist, road rules still apply to you.

Even with differing laws, there are still rules of the road you must follow:

  • Get to know the traffic laws in your state for bicyclists as they need to follow the same rules as motorists.
  • Ride single-file in traffic.
  • Stay alert and be vigilant with your surroundings. Keep your head up to look for potentially dangerous situations. I.e., watch for opening car doors and other hazards.
  • Know and use hand signals when turning, and at intersections.
  • Never attach/hitch onto cars..
  • When about to enter traffic, look both ways and over the shoulder.

Bicycling around town is a great way to exercise, go sightseeing, and a fun hobby. But bicyclists may encounter many hazards on their journey. Sharing the road with automobiles is difficult for bike riders, causing significant injuries even when riding on a designated path.

It is not always easy to enforce bicycle space and safety laws, but it does not lessen the importance of following them. Whether your state considers 3-feet to be sufficient space or a specific lane for bicyclists only, everyone needs to be aware of their presence.

As motorists need to respect other drivers, they need to extend the same to others who share the road. Being even more careful around vulnerable pedestrians and bicyclists, with speed, closeness, opening car doors, and checking blind spots. Drivers need to be mindful of the bicycle buffer zone.

 

What Is a Bicycle Buffer Zone?

Some are unaware of what bicycle buffer zones are, but many have seen them on the road. A bicycle buffer zone is a buffered space that surrounds bike lanes, increasing the area between bicycles and automobiles. Buffers often have paint strips or have images of a bike on the pavement. These paint marks are to designate wider bike lanes, making cyclists more comfortable, for they will not be riding directly next to traffic.

Street parking spots and parked vehicles have buffer zones so that bikes can safely ride around to avoid an accident from opening car doors. Bicycle buffer zones make it easier and safer for commuting cyclists.

Motorists do not drive in the buffer zone and must stay in the traffic lane. The reverse needs to happen when riding a bike. Bicyclists are to remain in the buffer zone when they are available in your area.

If you live in an area where the bicycle buffer zone requires drivers and cyclists to follow the Three Feet Safety Act or 3-foot,” it means drivers passing other vehicles and bikes need to stay three feet away.

If motorists and cyclists violate the 3-foot buffer zone, they are breaking the law. Fines can range from $35 to $100 for their first ticket. If a person receives any subsequent tickets, or a crash happens that harms a cyclist, the fine can up to $250. Some state laws have 2-feet or 4-feet buffer zones, and the fine prices will differ.

When you are the cyclist, you also need to follow safety procedures while riding a bike.

 

Bike Safety Tips Every Cyclist Should Follow

Besides riding in the buffer zone, here are a few other components to check:

  • Check bike equipment
  • Ensure your helmet is safe.
  • Inspect your bike before riding it.
  • Adjust your bike seat to the proper height.
  • Look over your bike’s chain and tires to ensure they work properly.
  • Add reflectors to the front, rear, pedals, and spokes of the bike.
  • Put a loud horn or bell on the handles, a rear-view mirror, and a bright headlight on your bicycle.
  • Plan to be seen during the day and at night- Wear bright, neon, fluorescent, or other light-colored clothing.
  • Ride during the day and avoid driving at night.
  • If you have to ride your bike at night, wear reflective clothing, and use flashing lights.
  • Wear a proper helmet and other protective gear. Use the straps to adjust the helmet to the size of your head.
  • When fitted, the helmet should not rock over 1-inch side-to-side or front to back on your head.

They design the bicycle buffer zone to keep roads safe for cyclists, drivers, and pedestrians. Sharing the road is difficult, but following the law can help reduce incidents, injuries, and fatalities.

If an accident happens, knowing your legal rights will help your case. Whether you are the driver or cyclist involved in a crash, contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer is crucial. An attorney will help you with protecting yourself against a lawsuit or win one.

 

Conclusion

As a cyclist or motorist, understanding the law of your state regarding bike buffer zones can help keep you, your family, and others safe. Take the bicycle laws in your state seriously; without them, grave injuries can be the result. Personal injury lawyers are to help make the suing process clearer and increase the chances of your case winning.

These laws are to keep bicyclists and pedestrians safe while on the road with automobiles. Learning the laws in your state regarding biking can help keep you safe in an environmentally clean and cost-effective way.

 

If you do not recognize and follow these laws, you can end up with significant fines or even worse. Prevent accidents from happening by not taking any risks on the road. And, if the worst was to happen, contacting an attorney can provide you with options for compensation and justice..

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Main Office: 200 E. Robinson St. Suite #250, Orlando, Florida 32801. Attorney Jeffrey Kaufman, Licensed in Florida Disclaimer: the purpose of this site is to provide information about legal options, not to provide legal or professional advice. You should not assume that the information on this site applies to your case without consulting with an attorney first. Requesting an initial consultation does not create an attorney client relationship. The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be solely based on advertisement.

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