View Full Version : BIKE LAWS enforced???

02-11-2013, 01:46 AM
Radical Brad once said "Indeed! One time I watch a cyclist ride down a lane of traffic up to a red light at an intersection and then proceed to make a hand signal and corner, the entire time not even looking to see how long the line of impatient drivers was behind him."

Ibedayank said "just my opinion.... But a side by side tandem would be too wide for most bicycle paths and lanes" Is Kyoto Cruiser too wide to ride on the road in a bike lane and are there laws against road use? dept of transportation in Connecticut states bike must remain in "the shoulder or bike lane, and to stay as far right as is practical". Has anyone had local law stop them for riding their recumben trikes?

A year ago I inquired directly about getting a Rhodes Car for my daughter that is no longer able to drive a MOTOR vehicle due to medical issues. Their wide "passenger" model would allow her and her son to go places. The direct response was:

"While, to my knowledge, width is not restricted by law you should understand that cyclists are expected to use the shoulder or bike lane, and to stay as far right as is practical. Typically, bike lanes in Connecticut are 4-5 feet and shoulders may be less wide. A 55" wide cycle may pose a safety concern" and rules say "If vehicles are piled up behind you, pull over when it is safe to do so and let them pass."

Bambuko said about a driver hitting a rider "It is indicative of the attitudes that first question asked is, whether the cyclist had lights or was wearing the helmet, rather than whether the car driver was paying attention and driving with care."

I realize that MANY motor vehicle operators are inattentive and that risk is part of "sharing" the road with larger beasts. However, I see SO MANY cycle riders that plain disregard LAWS and wonder if local "protect and serve" bother to enforce cycle laws. Local to me I frequently see bikes at night with NO visual safety items (lights or reflectors) AT ALL.

Local Statutes state any cycle in use after dusk shall have white light to front and reflectors visible from both sides and rear. Yet I have seen these dark bikes on the road for YEARS.

Cyclists riding BETWEEN stationary traffic lanes or IN the oncoming lane to pass stationary traffic. Rules are stay in bike lane and passing rules are same as for a motor vehicle. Even if the fuzz were willing to try and enforce it they would have a hard time catching them cause the cruiser can't go places a bike can go.

Speeding? I don't think any upwrongs around here COULD go fast enough in most places but would police bother? in a couple of videos, the rider states they are going 35MPH on electric assisted bike. In my state electric assist are limited to 25mph. and if no motor do you still have to follow the posted speeds? Speedometer isn't required equipment so IS it actually enforcable if you have no way of knowing how fast you are going? and don't get into the math cause we all KNOW you CAN calculate how fast can go.

Would love to hear stories about police either enforcing laws or wrongly attempting to enforce (harrassing) riders of recumbent bikes, trikes, quads, or velomobiles.


02-11-2013, 08:31 AM
Around here, most car drivers have no clue about the bicycle laws. I've been yelled at several times in the past year to "get on the sidewalk!". MO law says --similar to your CT laws-- bike lane or shoulder, as far right as practical. With the added that sidewalks are only to be used when impractical -for safety reasons only- to ride on the street/road, and must give way to pedestrians.

I have been admonished by the local police that they can give tickets for infractions, however they usually don't. Several occasions, I've been followed home, and been told to slow it down in school zones. 25 in a 20mph zone on the hill coming down to my house gets noticed. I've even been stopped and the trike looked over trying to find the motor.

Light/reflector laws here are similar to yours as well, and NOT enforced here either. Personally, I want to be seen!

Although this is only anecdotal, I've noted that since putting my automotive style lighting on the trike, more auto drivers treat my trike with a noticeable increase in respect for the vehicle. My thoughts on this: If I appear more like an automobile, there is less confusion about what it is the driver is looking at. I've read about actual studies done on this phenomenon. The human mind, if faced with something not familiar, tends to ignore/dismiss that input. Meaning whatever the odd object is, it isn't "seen" on the conscious level. As bikes and trikes etc are not commonplace here in the states, we who ride are not noticed by most drivers. True, it doesn't help with so many "aggressive" riders out there scoffing the established rules of the road.


02-11-2013, 09:49 AM
To many laws made by people that don't have any common sense.

02-11-2013, 10:21 AM
River---common sense is the most un-common thing around! And most people making laws have no experience in the real worls about which they make laws.
You can have two extrems of Policing---Australian--zero toleranse, write a ticket at everry excuse, just to make money, or yoy can have the Chinese--nothing matters until it goes wrong.
Of the two, I don't like the Aussie approach at all--breeds nothing but contempt for Police.
You have to see the extremes to see which is best to live with. Imagine having every law enforced to the letter, and thats what you get in OZ, especially if you drive a truck!
Steve G

02-11-2013, 11:25 AM
Ticktock your a very smart man with allot of wisdom

Radical Brad
02-11-2013, 12:38 PM
Years ago I was riding back from the coffee shop with a buddy on a pair of Marauders. Some cranky old cop pulled us over and began to spew a bunch of nonsensical garbage about wheel size and other stuff he obviously knew nothing about (I imagine he was on the sauce). His younger sidekick even looked at us with that "you got me" look as the old guy let out his bad day on us. He then told us to carry our bikes home. During all of this, a few kids blasted down the sidewalk, riding with the pals on the handlebars. Of course, old grumpy cop already had his bully appetite filled with us, so didn't even give them a look. I knew we did nothing wrong, but decided I was too old to feel my head bang up against the hood, so we played nice and walked out bikes to the next street and then went on our way riding again.

But generally, I have no problems with "the man".

In fact, when living in the city, I would often test ride electric contraptions, tall bikes, huge robots and all sorts of definitely illegal vehicles and often the fuzz would stop just to get a look. One day I was tooling down the sidewalk at 1:00am on a 600 pound electric robot with transport truck wheels and the cops just had to stop and ask about the vehicle.

But like all things, there is always one stinking, rotten, smelly apple in the barrel that you would just like to make apple sauce out of.
It's tough to fight when the bully has a gun though!

Ontario is also one of the worst places on the entire globe for electric vehicles and e-bikes. The laws here are mostly carry overs from the horse and carriage days!
Living way out of the mess now, I have no worries and can do whatever I want. Might even make an electric flying glider bike one day.

I am generally all for traffic and vehicle laws, but 100% apposed to the limits imposed on any electric bike or small EV that cannot reach highway traffic speeds. I look for every opportunity to break these laws and enjoy doing so. To be honest, I am so disgusted with this green political double talk, that I always make my e-bikes illegal, just because it makes me feel good about breaking the laws. I mod my controllers to break the speed limit, even if I don't intend to go that fast. I just want to know I am defying the idiots who make these laws that keep us in the smoggy dark ages. My next e-bike is going to do 50mph, mark my words!


02-11-2013, 01:47 PM
I've always been very curious about biking in China - in one way it's my dream - a society where everyone bikes. In another sense, I thought that if I actually was in that "dream society" I would have to bike really slowly, surrounded by elders tottering around on one speeds.
How often have you seen bike to bike accidents? How fast do people go on ebikes? Are there large speed differentials?
- John

02-11-2013, 11:14 PM
In Indiana our bicycle laws vary from town/city to town/city.

Bike lanes are regulated at the local level.

The state level specifies that cyclists must behave as any other motor vehicle and obey the traffic laws as if they were another motorized vehicle. The same was true of California when I lived there, and I think that unbeknownst to most, in a lot of states, cyclists are required to behave as motor vehicles.

Interestingly Indiana defines a "bicycle" as any vehicle primarily moved by pedaling, regardless of the number of wheels and/or passengers.

02-12-2013, 03:42 AM
My experience is limited to Beijing and as far as its outer suburbs, so cannot be regarded as all of China!
Most cities and towns have well marked bike lanes. Thees are good when not being used as car parks.
As to age of bike users, this varies from about 19 to 99! There are many very slow, but usually very steady riders. They are not a problem--most of the time. There is a vast speed difference in bike lanes--and I mean vast. From the 99 year old just reffered to to me is a big step. BUt E bikes and , just recently, motor scooters also get to use bike lanes, so even at the speeds I ride round at, I still get attacked from behind, and you can only hear an Ebike when the geared hub is worn out! So it is a problem, but we seem to manage.
In 5 years here, I have only seen one case of an Ebike/ push bike crash . I bumped wheels with one bike when we both locked everything to stop, and just sat there laughing, because it was funny.
So the survival rate is high, considering the variety of traffic in bike lanes, and the speed difference. The biggest problem in a bike lane is a pedestrian using a moble phone!
As to riding long distance, its not on on any express way or motorway, and would be a problem at times on some normal roads, but, despite all the stupidity of a Chinese car driver, you get a fair go in cramped spaces (even if they are leaning on the horn)
Most roads in the city do have bike lanes , many wider than your highways! I would not call it a cycling heaven, but it is more bike friendly than a lot of other places, but there are only two rules that work here---don't hit anything else, and don't let anything else hit you!
After that, forgetr the traffic laws. (I think they do have some laws)
Steve G.
PS I do feel safer riding in Beijing than I did trying to ride around Sydney.

The Cat
02-12-2013, 06:09 AM
Morning to all. I have had in five years of bicycle riding only one incident (Fingers crossed) of car hitting my bicycle. Was when I was passing in front of stopped car at a junction. Driver was using a mobility adapted motor car. I was not hurt but front wheel bent too far to be reused. Mostly I get respect from motorist especially bus drivers, taxi drivers and police drivers. Once when I hopped onto pavement (sidewalk) Police Constable told me off. I ride my bicycle all year round so regularly seen travelling about. Have lights for night and ears listening for traffic that my limit. Bicycle lanes are about but end in middle of a road section. Like the person marking road of option that bicycle user should stop and walk the rest of the way. Anyway I shot my bolt time to put down the crossbow and leave.

With Regards
Thomas (The Cat)

02-12-2013, 10:03 AM
The difference is that in the UK bike laws are (or were?) policed well. I had to behave just like any other vehicle.
In Australia, the police are too busy making money out of the motorist and truck drivers, and pay zero attention to bikes. That means you get a lot of irresponsible car drivers later. Similar here in China--no real policing on bikes, so we get ***** drivers, but here, still no policing!
Steve G

02-12-2013, 10:40 AM
I monitor several forums and the guys that seem to report the most incidents of police involvement seem to be the velomobile guys. Often these stops are wrongful because officers have not been trained well (if at all) in what is a bicycle (velomobile) and their rights on the road. Several I read of have hired lawyers and taken their cases to higher courts.
Wide bikes/trikes/quads often have difficulties entering a MUP because of barricades placed at entrances to keep ATV and such out. Sometimes it is necessary to lift trikes/quads over the post to enter a MUP.
Being within our rights is not always safe or right. I live between 2 hi-ways. One with wide shoulders and a 70 mph speed limit. I feel very safe and ride there almost daily. The other, 2 lane, no shoulder and 55 mph. I have a right to ride there but it would be a death wish to do so.
Since living in East Texas I've been stopped by two different sheriff deputies and a City of Canton police officer. Not for any wrong doing but out of curiosity for what I was riding. Twice on my Deltawolf trike and once on my new to me recumbent bike. All three encounters were very pleasant and led to conversation about me and my son building my bikes and our biking experiences as youths. I'm glad to have them around.

EDIT: I read more about road rage than about police involvement with riders. So many riders now have GoPro cameras that they keep going full time. There are many post on YouTube of these events.

02-12-2013, 05:35 PM
Hey TexasTuff,
I'd like to read more about the velomobile life I aspire to - any boards in particular you would recommend for that?
- John