Bicyclists and pedestrians are the road’s most vulnerable users. This means they are the most at risk of serious and fatal injuries in traffic accidents. In an effort to prevent collisions between bicycles and motor vehicles, Colorado lawmakers have instituted many bicycle laws. Denver bicycle accident lawyers recommend obeying these laws in order to keep your actions predictable to surrounding motorists and decrease your risk of being injured in a bicycle accident.
Where Can You Ride a Bicycle?
According to Colorado Revised Statutes Section 42-4-1412, a person riding a bicycle has all of the rights and duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle, with a few special regulations and provisions. Bicyclists have the legal right to use public roads and highways. In fact, bicyclists generally cannot ride on sidewalks in Colorado unless a municipality permits cyclists to do so. They must ride on the road with motor vehicle traffic.
What Traffic Laws Apply to Bicyclists?
When using public streets and highways, bicyclists must comply with the standard rules of the road. These include:
- Bicyclists must ride in the same direction as traffic.
- Bicyclists must remain in the right-hand lane except when turning, passing or avoiding hazardous conditions.
- Bicyclists must yield to any traffic that has the right-of-way.
- Bicyclists must comply with all traffic control signs and signals.
- Bicyclists cannot bike under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Bicyclists should use hand signals to show their intent to turn.
If a biker breaks any of these road rules and regulations, the police can issue citations to the cyclist just like a motorist for moving violations.
What Is the Colorado Safety Stop Law?
As of April 2022, bicyclists in Colorado can perform a Safety Stop at stop signs. Under this law, cyclists can come to a rolling stop rather than a complete stop as long as they yield to others who have the right-of-way. If there is no oncoming traffic at a four-way or two-way stop, a bicyclist can continue through the intersection without stopping. Bikers must be at least 15 years old or be with a parent or legal guardian to perform a Safety Stop.
What Is the Bicycle Helmet Law?
Colorado has no universal law requiring the use of bicycle helmets. Wearing head protection is not mandatory for a bicyclist of any age. However, bike helmets are the number one way to prevent serious head and brain injuries in a bicycle accident. Anyone who bikes regularly in Colorado should protect themselves by wearing a properly fitting, safety-approved helmet.
What Equipment Must a Bicycle Have in Colorado?
Before a bicycle can be operated on public roads in Colorado, it must be equipped with a white light attached to the front of the bike that is visible for at least 500 feet ahead and a red light or reflector on the rear of the bike that is visible at 600 feet. The sides of the bike must also have reflective material that is visible at a distance of 600 feet. Other required equipment includes working brakes and a second saddle if the bicyclist wishes to carry a passenger.
Who Is Liable When a Bicycle Accident Occurs?
Colorado is an at-fault state when it comes to recovering compensation for a bicycle accident. Under this rule, the person or party most at fault for causing the accident is responsible for paying for a victim’s medical bills and property repairs. If you get injured in a bicycle accident in Colorado, you may need a Denver personal injury attorney at Manning Law to help you seek compensation from an at-fault driver or another party.