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Know your rights and responsibilities as a cyclist

| Feb 22, 2020 | Motor vehicle accidents |

Stillwater is an incredible place to explore on two wheels. In fact, the town even has a bike trail that you can take all the way to Minneapolis. 

Before donning your helmet and hopping on your bicycle, make sure you know the state and local traffic laws that apply to cyclists. 

Riding in traffic 

In general, cyclists on a main road must obey the same laws as motor vehicle drivers. When traveling on a roadway, head in the same direction as traffic, and stay as close as possible to the right-hand curb. Although you may ride in the bike lane where available, you have no legal obligation to do so. 

You may move to the left to avoid a hazard or make a left turn. You can share the traffic lane with another cyclist as long as doing so does not interrupt the traffic flow. 

At a red light, you can pass through the intersection after stopping for a reasonable amount of time to ensure that all cross traffic has cleared. You may not ride in between two lanes of traffic, a dangerous practice sometimes called “splitting the lane.” 

Riding on sidewalks and bike paths 

Although bikes may travel on the sidewalk in Minnesota, be aware that pedestrians have the right of way. Alert them with a bell or by calling out as you prepare to pass. You should also yield to pedestrians crossing the street. In a business district, which the law defines as an area with more than 50% commercial buildings, you must ride on the street or in a designated bike path. 

Riding with passengers 

You may carry a passenger on your bike only if he or she has a designated seat or an attached child safety seat. You may not have another rider on your handlebars, on the back pegs of your bike or otherwise attached to your bike while you are riding. 

Following these rules will reduce your risk of a serious motor vehicle accident while on your bike.