Cycling to work: traffic rules and risks

What dangers await cyclists on the road, and what do car drivers need to know about them.One of the conceptual directions of modern urbanism is the planting of a cycling culture . The two-wheeled vehicle fits perfectly into the current strategy of sustainable transport systems around the world and should ideally turn from a leisure activity into a full-fledged vehicle.

In terms of the distribution of guilt in accidents, motorists and cyclists have parity. The most common driver misdemeanors that lead to a collision with a bicycle are the order violation, non-observance of the positioning rules on the roadway, as well as unsafe side spacing.As for the cyclists themselves, they, like drivers, most often choose the wrong position on the carriageway and lateral spacing, and also do not dismount when crossing the road at pedestrian crossings.

In the left lane on a bike

  • Risks can be minimized by creating special infrastructure, but mainly by instilling a culture of behavior on the road, both for cyclists themselves and for drivers with pedestrians. But, of course, you need to start with the rules of the road. They are pretty simple.
  • First of all, we recall that only cyclists who have reached the age of 14 use full rights . Those who are younger can move independently only within the pedestrian zone, while schoolchildren can also move around the cycling infrastructure.
  • The hierarchy of places allowed for pedal cars is as follows: in priority – specialized infrastructure, that is, bicycle zones, cycle paths, cycle paths, cycle lanes, then the edge of the carriageway, then roadsides and, finally, sidewalks or footpaths. Each next element can be used only if the previous one is unavailable for some reason.
  • When moving simultaneously with pedestrians on sidewalks, footpaths and the side of the road, the cyclist does not enjoy priority, and in case of any danger he must dismount and continue the journey, leading a bike next to him.
  • Bicyclists should keep as far to the right as possible when driving on the edge of the road. If there is a dedicated line, then you should go on it. Attempts to break into the left ranks quite often fail, because not only are they not allowed to go there and other drivers do not expect to see them there, it is also simply difficult to see them in a dense stream.

For the same reason, you can only turn left if there is only one lane in the same direction and there are no tram tracks in the middle of the road, or the maneuver is allowed directly from the right lane. If these conditions are not met, but it is still necessary to go to the left, then at the intersection you can cross the road onto which the turn is planned, along the right edge of the carriageway, and then do the same, but through the carriageway on which you were driving before.

The second option is to get off the bike and in the same way cross the intersection in two stages, but  already as a pedestrian . Then you can return to the saddle and continue to move in the right direction, pedaling.

As for intersections where a right turn is allowed, both cyclists and car drivers need to be careful. The former should predict the driver’s behavior and not try to squeeze into the gap between the car and the right edge of the roadway, the latter, taking the extreme right position before the maneuver, should take into account the presence of a “dead zone” and  anticipate the appearance of a bicycle there .

You can’t ride a bike while drunk

Alcohol while driving: how to avoid non-obvious risks?

On pedestrian crossings, even on regulated ones, it is necessary to move only while driving a bicycle next to you, that is, being in the status of a pedestrian. Otherwise, you not only interfere with the legitimate users of the zebra, but also put yourself in mortal danger, because even the most disciplined motorist does not expect that a cyclist will suddenly appear on his way at a speed that is inaccessible to a pedestrian.

Driving on highways, as well as roads marked with a blue rectangular sign with a car in full face (in the traffic rules, this sign has the number 5.3 and is called “Road for cars”), an example of which is the Moscow Ring Road, is prohibited even on the sides. In fact, compliance with the listed provisions, contained mainly in the 24th section of the Rules of the Road, would have prevented the lion’s share of accidents, the main causes and places of which we spoke at the beginning.A bicycle is a vehicle, therefore, its rider is a driver who is strictly forbidden by traffic rules to drive drunk.

In conclusion, a few words about the responsibility of the cyclists themselves. For them, a special article was invented in the Code of Administrative Offenses – 12.29. According to it, for violating traffic rules, riders face a fine of 800 rubles, and if it is established that they were in a state of intoxication, from 1,000 to 1,500 rubles.


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