Bicycles are also "vehicles."
That means bicyclists must obey the rules of the road like drivers of any other vehicle and must be treated as equal users by all other vehicles.
"With the weather starting to get nice, the number of people riding bikes is increasing," said Dickinson County Sheriff Scott Celello. "Motorists need to be aware of bicyclists and also understand that they have the same rights while traveling on the road that motorists do. A few safety reminders will go a long way to help bicyclists travel safely in our community."
Some safety tips for motorists who encounter bicyclists include:
- Do not pass on two-lane roads with no paved shoulder when oncoming traffic is present.
- Do not pass on curves or over the crest of a hill until it is safe.
- Don't pass a bicyclist on the right shoulder of the road.
- Also be aware that a bicyclist may be near the center of the road preparing to make a left hand turn.
Michigan law states that bicycle and moped riders are allowed to ride in a traffic lane, but must stay as far to the right as practical.
Practical does not mean as far to the right as possible. Practical means safe and reasonable.
There may be road obstructions such as potholes or bad road surfaces that may dictate where in the lane of traffic a bicyclist will travel.
Just as bicyclists have rights on the roadway, they also have laws to follow.
Laws that apply to motorists also apply to bicyclists.
- Travel in the same direction as motor vehicles.
- Signal your turns.
- Obey all traffic signs and signals.
"If we all slow down and show a little respect for those we share the roadways with, our spring and summer will be safer and more enjoyable for motorists and bicyclists alike," Celello said.