Why Do Bikes Get Full Use of the Lane?
Frequently, automobile drivers get frustrated when a cyclist is blocking traffic and riding in the center of the lane. And they have the right to do so. But why? Bicycles are vehicles. Although you might not like their slow rate of speed, bikes are considered to be equal to a car. A person can’t walk on the street and slow traffic, but a bike has every right to be there.
If you attempt to pass the bike on the right and you cause an accident, then you are responsible for all of the costs that come about because of the accident. You can’t blame the cyclist. If you’ve been involved in an accident involving a car and a bike, you will need a personal injury attorney to represent you in the inevitable lawsuit.
Throughout Southern California, cities are setting aside tiny lanes (marked by solid white lines and frequently painted green) for cyclists to use. In some places, where there is more than one lane in each direction, the city will paint the stencil of a bike indicating that the cyclist has the legal right to be in the lane.
These additions, intended to help bikers and drivers share the road, have cause some confusion. For example, if there is a bike lane, can the cyclist is ride outside of the lane and use the full lane of traffic? In short, yes. Although thin bike lanes are intended to encourage more bike riders to use busy streets, they still have full use of the road. Keep in mind, those bikes are automobiles. If the cyclist deems the bike lane unsafe (other cyclists, pedestrians, open car doors) the cyclist can opt for the vehicle lane instead — even if that means slowing traffic to 15 miles per hour.
For years, only daredevil riders opted to take on the California streets on a bike. Today, however, cyclists and drivers have to adapt and respect each other to make California streets safe and accessible for anyone willing to follow the law.