Defending The Rights Of Bicyclists
As drivers throughout metropolitan Atlanta get more aggressive and impatient, bicycle riders are placed at an ever increasing danger. Unfortunately, when bicyclists are involved in an accident the injuries are often serious. At the Houck Law Firm we care about the rights of bicycle riders, and we understand the serious injuries that can result when bicyclists are injured when involved in a wreck. We have represented numerous bicyclists who have been involved in serious bicycle accidents. We are dedicated to getting these individuals and their families the resources they need to move forward from the accident.
Bicycles have a right to share the road, but other vehicles often fail to recognize and respect that right. We believe the most effective way to change our community standard, and make Atlanta drivers respect and safely operate around bicyclists is to hold people accountable when they hit a bicyclist. While a financial recovery can never put you in the same position you were before an accident, it can help get you the treatment and support you need, and it sends a message to our community that the safety of our bicycle riders is important.
Georgia Laws that pertain to riding bicycles
O.C.G.A. §40-6-291. Traffic laws apply to persons riding bicycles
(a) The provisions of this chapter that apply to vehicles, but not exclusively to motor vehicles, shall apply to bicycles, except as provided in this Code section and except that the penalties prescribed in subsection (b) of Code Section 40-6-390, subsection (c) of Code Section 40-6-391, and subsection (a) of Code Section 40-6-393 shall not apply to persons riding bicycles.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of Code Section 40-6-50, any person operating a bicycle may ride upon a paved shoulder; provided, however, that such person shall not be required to ride upon a paved shoulder.
(c) Any person operating a bicycle may signal a right turn with his or her right arm and hand extended horizontally or with his or her left hand and arm extended upward.
O.C.G.A. §40-6-292. Riding on bicycles
(a) A person propelling a bicycle shall not ride other than upon or astride a permanent and regular seat attached thereto and shall allow no person to ride upon the handlebars.
(b) No bicycle shall be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped.
(c) No person shall transport a child under the age of one year as a passenger on a bicycle on a highway, roadway, bicycle path, bicycle lane, or sidewalk; provided, however, that a child under the age of one year may be transported on a bicycle trailer or in an infant sling so long as such child is seated in the bicycle trailer or carried in an infant sling according to the bicycle trailer’s or infant sling’s manufacturer’s instructions, and the bicycle trailer is properly affixed to the bicycle according to the bicycle trailer’s manufacturer’s instructions or the infant sling is properly worn by the rider of the bicycle according to the infant sling’s manufacturer’s instructions.
(d) No child between the ages of one year and four years shall ride as a passenger on a bicycle or bicycle trailer or be transported in an infant sling unless the child is securely seated in a child passenger bicycle seat, bicycle trailer, or infant sling according to the child passenger bicycle seat’s, bicycle trailer’s, or infant sling’s manufacturer’s instructions and the child passenger seat or bicycle trailer is properly affixed to the bicycle according to the child passenger bicycle seat’s or bicycle trailer’s manufacturer’s instructions or the infant sling is worn according to the infant sling’s manufacturer’s instructions.
(e) Violation of subsections (c) and (d) of this Code section shall not constitute negligence per se nor contributory negligence per se or be considered evidence of negligence or liability.
(f) No person under the age of 16 years failing to comply with subsections (c) and (d) of this Code section shall be fined or imprisoned.
O.C.G.A. §40-6-293. Clinging to vehicles
O.C.G.A. §40-6-294. Riding on roadways and bicycle paths
(a) As used in this Code section, the term “hazards to safe cycling” includes, but shall not be limited to, surface debris, rough pavement, drain grates which are parallel to the side of the roadway, parked or stopped vehicles, potentially opening car doors, or any other objects which threaten the safety of a person operating a bicycle.
(b) Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable, except when:
(1) Turning left;
(2) Avoiding hazards to safe cycling;
(3) The lane is too narrow to share safely with a motor vehicle;
(4) Traveling at the same speed as traffic;
(5) Exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction; or
(6) There is a right turn only lane and the person operating the bicycle is not turning right; provided, however, that every person operating a bicycle away from the right side of the roadway shall exercise reasonable care and shall give due consideration to the other applicable rules of the road.
(c) Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on bicycle paths, bicycle lanes, parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles, or when a special event permit issued by a local governing authority permits riding more than two abreast.
(d) Whenever a usable bicycle path has been provided adjacent to a roadway and designated for the exclusive use of bicycle riders, then the appropriate governing authority may require that bicycle riders use such bicycle path and not use those sections of the roadway so specified by such local governing authority. The governing authority may be petitioned to remove restrictions upon demonstration that the bicycle path has become inadequate due to capacity, maintenance, or other causes.
(e) Bicycle paths subject to the provisions of subsection (d) of this Code section shall at a minimum be required to meet accepted guidelines, recommendations, and criteria with respect to planning, design, operation, and maintenance as set forth by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and such bicycle paths shall provide accessibility to destinations equivalent to the use of the roadway.
(f) Any person operating a bicycle in a bicycle lane shall ride in the same direction as traffic on the roadway.
O.C.G.A. §40-6-295. Carrying articles
O.C.G.A. §40-6-296. Lights and other equipment on bicycles; helmets by persons under 16 years of age
(a) Every bicycle when in use at nighttime shall be equipped with a light on the front which shall emit a white light visible from a distance of 300 feet to the front and with a light on the back which shall emit a red light visible from a distance of 300 feet to the rear. Any bicycle equipped with a red reflector on the rear that is approved by the Department of Public Safety shall not be required to have a light on the rear of the bicycle.
(b) Every bicycle sold or operated shall be equipped with a brake which will enable the operator to make the braked wheels skid on dry, level pavement.
(c) No bicycle shall be equipped or operated while equipped with a set of handlebars so raised that the operator must elevate his or her hands above the operator’s shoulders in order to grasp the normal steering grip area.
(d)(1) No person under the age of 16 years shall operate or be a passenger on a bicycle on a highway, bicycle path, bicycle lane, or sidewalk under the jurisdiction or control of this state or any local political subdivision thereof without wearing a bicycle helmet.
(2) For the purposes of this subsection, the term “bicycle helmet” means a piece of protective headgear which meets or exceeds the impact standards for bicycle helmets set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or the Snell Memorial Foundation.
(3) For the purposes of this subsection, a person shall be deemed to wear a bicycle helmet only if a bicycle helmet of good fit is fastened securely upon such person’s head with the straps of such bicycle helmet.
(4) No bicycle without an accompanying protective bicycle helmet shall be rented or leased to or for the use of any person under the age of 16 years unless that person is in possession of a bicycle helmet at the time of the rental or lease.
(5) Violation of any provision of this subsection shall not constitute negligence per se nor contributory negligence per se or be considered evidence of negligence or liability.
(6) No person under the age of 16 failing to comply with any provision of this subsection shall be fined or imprisoned.