The summer is a perfect time of year to go on long bike rides, or even ride your bike to work. Riding a bicycle is a great way to enjoy the weather and get a good workout simultaneously. You may be wondering, though, about some of the laws in Pennsylvania regarding bicycling, and how to make sure you’re being safe while riding a bike.
The general applicable rule regarding pedalcycles is codified in 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3501. The general rule proclaims:
[e]very person riding a pedalcycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this title, except as to special provisions in this subchapter and except as to those provisions of this title which by their nature can have no application.
75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3501(a).
As outlined in the applicable code provision, a bicyclist is given every right and subject to every duty that a driver of a motor vehicle has on the roadway, except for certain special provisions and provisions that simply cannot be applicable.
Furthermore, bicycles must be operated in the same direction as traffic. 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3505. Additionally, if you are operating your bicycle on a path or sidewalk, you must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and give an audible signal prior to passing a pedestrian. 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3508.
In addition to some of the basic laws you must know when operating a bicycle, you should always wear a helmet (no matter your age). Wearing a helmet will ensure you are safe and protected while operating your bicycle. Also, make sure you are visible to other bicyclists and motor vehicle operators. You can do this by wearing bright clothing and making sure your bicycle is equipped with proper reflectors. Finally, operate your bicycle in a controlled manner. Do not erratically ride your bicycle as that may cause a collision.
The next time you want to ride a bicycle keep these laws and safety tips in mind to ensure your safety and the safety of others. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is a great resource for you to make sure you are prepared for your next bicycle ride.