Philly cyclists are concerned about being safe and having a good time was they travel the streets on two wheels. A big part of ensuring the streets stay safe for cyclists is educating both cyclists and motorists. Once everyone is familiar with the laws, it will be easier to ensure everyone follows them.
Here are a few biking laws for the city of Philly that you may or may not know about but you definitely should.
Stay off the Sidewalk
Riders are only allowed to cycle on the sidewalk if they are under 13 years old. This helps prevent accidents with pedestrians and serious injuries, as younger riders will cycle slower than their older counterparts. It also creates a safe space for young riders, keeping them out of the way of cars. This is one that pedestrians need to know about as well so that they can be expecting cyclists on the sidewalk and understand when cycling there is perfectly legal.
One Direction for Bike Lanes
All bike lanes are designated as one lane by default, although there are some exceptions. You should treat a bike lane as one way unless you see signs to the contrary. Don’t go by what others are doing, because there will always be people who are not aware of the rules or that simply don’t follow the rules. Look for signs to tell you if a bike lane is two-directional, and if you don’t see that kind of sign, then just assume it is one way, as most of them are.
The Right of Way
When cyclists share the road with motorists, they both have to understand the laws that apply to them to keep each other safe and to prevent accidents. When a cyclist is going straight and the motorist is turning, then the cyclist has the right of way. Neither party should assume they always have the right of way. The law allows for the right of way to be given to different parties depending on the situation.
Drivers can actually go into a bike lane, if they are emerging. Cyclists need to watch for that and be aware of their surroundings. They should not just assume that everyone will give them space. Sharing the road is the best way to keep the streets of Philly safe when cyclists and motorists both use them If you are in doubt about who has the right of way, then it is always safer to concede to other vehicles.
Who Wears the Helmets?
Helmet laws protect riders against falls and collisions. While some states have helmet laws that require all cyclists to wear this safety headgear, Philly is a bit laxer. In the city of Philly, only children under 13 are required to wear helmets. All adults can ride without them, if they like.
These laws will keep the roads safe for everyone. There are plenty more to keep in mind as well, and this is just a small sampling. Be sure you stay up to date on local cycling and road safety laws to have the best and safest biking experience possible.