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Know your rights: Bike lanes and rules of the road

Know your rights: Bike lanes and rules of the road

In and around Columbus, it is becoming more common to share the road with a bicyclist or two.

People are commuting by bicycle and even eschewing their cars in favor of bikes to run errands. And don’t forget those who ride for fun or exercise.

According to Ohio law, bicyclists need to obey the same traffic laws as motorists – that means, follow the traffic signals and don’t bike while under the influence. Bicycles are legal on most roads in Ohio. They are not, however, allowed on freeways, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation.

With the number of cyclists on the rise, here are three things to consider when sharing the road.

OBEY THE LAW

This one goes for motorists and cyclists and it’s pretty simple. Know the rules of the road and obey them. That means don’t speed, don’t weave in and out of cars, don’t tailgate – and stay off your phone! A bicyclist must ride with traffic, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation.

KEEP AN EYE OUT

Bicyclists should be familiar with their surroundings and use hand signals. It also goes without saying that a bicyclist should wear reflective gear and a helmet. There are also lights that can provide more visibility. It’s a good rule of thumb to stay off busy roads or roads with lots of trucks.

For motorists, make sure you are constantly on the lookout for cyclists and give them some space. Share the road!

BE COURTEOUS

Motorists, we know it can be frustrating to be stuck behind a bicycle, on a hill, when you are trying to get to work or school. But cyclists have the right to the road too and they are out there trying to get somewhere too! And bicyclists, use common sense: If there is a bike lane, stay in it. If there isn’t, get as far over as you safely can. A friendly wave can also go a long way.

Remember, in Ohio, every roadway except for limited access freeways, are shared roadways, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation. Bicycles ARE allowed to ride there!

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