What are the bicycle safety laws in Indianapolis?
It’s no secret that cycling can be a healthy and environmentally friendly way to get from place to place, whether you’re commuting to work or riding for recreation. In fact, you don’t have to look far to find multiple studies that show how regular cycling can improve peoples’ mental and physical health.
In recognition of the increasing number of bicycles on the road, state and local governments have passed important bicycle safety laws. In Indianapolis, for example, city ordinances state the following:
- Drivers of motor vehicles must stay at least three feet away when passing a cyclist.
- Drivers must yield the right-of-way to bicyclists on sidewalks and other designated paths.
- Use of bike lanes is limited exclusively to bicycles, except where signs indicate that the lanes can be used jointly by pedestrians.
- Drivers and pedestrians are prohibited from parking and standing in bike lanes.
Unfortunately, having bicycle safety laws on the books doesn’t necessarily protect riders from injury. Even if you do all of the right things as a cyclist, such as follow the rules of the road and clearly signal your intentions, you could still be seriously injured in a collision with a negligent driver.
As with many safety issues, education and personal responsibility are the keys to improvement. Drivers must understand the potential consequences of not watching out for cyclists. Collisions between bikes and motor vehicles can result in lifelong injuries for riders, who don’t have the protection of a car’s frame, doors, windshield and seat belts.
In addition to the physical effects of a crash, a bicyclist may also be left with high medical bills and lost time from work. To learn more about what to do after a serious bicycle accident, please see Steve Crell Law’s bicycle accident overview.