August 9, 2013

Comments (5)

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Every State is Different

In Seattle, where I practice law and ride bikes, bicyclists are allowed to ride on the roads with other vehicles and on the sidewalks with pedestrians. Bicyclists have a duty to yield to pedestrians but, unless they are in a marked bike lane, motorists do not have a duty to yield to bicyclists. Just like pedestrians, however, Seattle bicyclists can ride on either side of the sidewalk.

More info here:

Bob Anderton more than 1 year ago

where can we get more resources?

Thanks for the info. What are some other good resources on the internet to further educate yourself on bike laws if you are wholly or partially at fault, per state. I'm looking for NY specifically.

Tanya Raymond more than 1 year ago

He'd get nothing in 5 jurisdictions

DC, VA, MD, NC & AL all still have contributory negligence regimes under which a cyclist who is even only 15% at fault would collect nothing. This is especially dangerous for cyclists in these jurisdictions, and this needs to change.

cYLIst more than 1 year ago

So get statutory protection

I need to correct cYList (who?) about Virginia. We may have contributory negligence, but we also have statutory protection for cyclists in crosswalks: "A person riding a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, motorized skateboard or foot-scooter, motor-driven cycle, or an electric power-assisted bicycle on a sidewalk, shared-use path, or across a roadway on a crosswalk, shall have all the rights and duties of a pedestrian under the same circumstances." Not to be pedantic -- the takeaway for bike advocates is, while we can't re-engineer the whole legal system, we CAN effectively patch it, often by sliding a word or two into existing statutes, without too much committee resistance.

Virginia Bicycling Federation more than 1 year ago

not that simple

That doesn't help if the cyclist is deemed 15% at fault. Perhaps the cyclist wouldn't be deemed 15% at fault with that law, but you can't know that ex ante. These jurisdictions need to drop contributory negligence like the dinosaur that it is. Until then, it will be an uphill climb for cyclists to get damages when they are injured. There are countless stories of cyclists in Virginia who got nothing because they were some small percentage at fault.

cYclist more than 1 year ago