Sharing The Road (Part 2) – Bicycle Law in New York State
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Sharing The Road (Part 2) – Bicycle Law in New York State


Hi! I’m Ken Crandall, Education Director
of the New York Bicycling Coalition. In In our previous video we discussed the
rights of cyclists to use the road and the responsibilities of motorist when
driving in the vicinity of bicyclists in this video made in cooperation with the
Albany Police Department and funded by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee
we will be discussing the responsibilities of cyclists when
operating their bicycles in traffic. We will also be discussing a few important
points to remember when investigating and reporting on crashes involving
cyclists. We at the New York Bicycling Coalition thank you for your attention
to these important topics and look forward to working with law enforcement
agencies around the state to ensure the safety of all road users. Bicyclists are required to follow the
same rules of the road as motorists. When riding a bicycle you must stop at all stop lights and signs, signal to turn and yield to
pedestrians in the crosswalk. Note that not all censored intersections detect bicycles.Enforcement should focus on those bicyclists that are endangering
themselves and others. In many municipalities it is illegal to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk. Check your local ordinances before riding your bicycle on the sidewalk when riding on the sidewalk
bicycles should ride at a walking pace and yield to pedestrians bicycles also
must be equipped with a bell horn or other device audible from at least 100
feet. Regrettably riding on the sidewalk is one of the leading causes of crashes between cars and bikes. Bicyclists must signal when turning or stopping. If both hands are needed to control the bike then a cyclist may not signal. When operating a bicycle from a
half hour after sunset to a half hour before sunrise, bicycles must be equipped with front and rear lights. Front lights must be white and visible from at least 500 feet. Rear lights can be red or amber and should be visible from at least 300
feet. Being visible from the side is also important so one of these lights should
be visible on both sides from 200 feet. Many people mistakenly believe it is safer to ride against traffic however, crashes occur
because drivers aren’t looking for traffic coming from the wrong direction.
When riding the wrong direction cyclists can’t see important signals and signs. Although crash investigations are complex, we would like to point out a few
important things to consider as law enforcement when responding to a crash
involving a bicycle. It is critical, especially in crashes that involve
serious injury or fatality, that you secure the bicycle so that it can be
brought to court if necessary. Document the bicycle and the full scene, including
the road surface and shoulder for at least one block prior to the crash.
Measure both and take as many photographs as possible. Check for any
cameras at the scene and secure them. If still recording, turn them off to prevent
the relevant footage from being overwritten. Interview the cyclist and
witnesses and try to determine their riding position. Was the cyclist in the
traffic lane or on the shoulder? What was their proximity to the fog line? For more
information you can check the NYBC website. Follow the rules of the road, stop at all
lights and signs. Signal to turn and yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk. Check your local ordinances before riding your bicycle o n the sidewalks because in many municipalities it is illegal. When riding
on a sidewalk bicyclists should yield to pedestrians and ride at a walking pace.
Bicycles must be equipped with a bell audible from 100 feet. Bicycles must signal when turning or stopping. If both hands are needed to
control the bike, then a cyclist may not signal. Lights from a half-hour after sunset to a half hour before sunrise bicycles must be equipped with front and
rear lights. Front lights must be white and visible from at least 500 feet. Rear
lights can be red or amber and be visible from at least 300 feet. At least
one of these lights should be visible on both sides from 200 feet. Crashes occur because drivers aren’t looking for traffic coming in the
wrong direction. When riding the wrong direction cyclists can’t see important
signals and signs. Secure the bicycle so that it can be
brought into court if necessary. Document the bicycle and the full scene including
the road surface and shoulder for at least one block prior to the crash. Measure both and take as many photographs as possible. Check for any cameras at the
scene and secure them if still recording turn them off to prevent the relevant
footage from being overwritten. Interview the cyclists and witnesses and try to
determine their riding position. Steve: We hope this video has given you a better understanding of the law in New York State and how it applies the bicyclists.
Ken: We understand your time is important and appreciate your commitment to the safety
of all road users in our great state. The New York bicycling coalition and the
Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee Steve: along with the Albany Police Department thank you for your attention to this important topic. Ken: For more information, visit the
NYBC website at www.NYBC.com.

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