A guide to Colorado laws on bicycle safety
With Springtime arriving in full force this year, it is a great time to go out and explore the natural beauty that Colorado has to offer. One way that many people will be enjoying the outdoors this spring will be by riding their bicycles. With the beautiful weather that accompanies spring from the cities to the mountains people will be out riding their bicycles for exercise or to just to enjoy the day. It is important that everyone is aware of the various laws that have been put in place regarding cyclists, and to be aware of what to do if you are in an accident while bicycling.
Colorado biking laws are codified in title 42 of the Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.) dealing with the regulation of vehicles and traffic. There are several statutes that regulate biking and how bicyclists and cars interact on the roadways.
C.R.S. 42-4-1412 is the statute that covers the operation of bicycles, electric scooters, and other human powered vehicles. Within this law are the requirements for bicyclists riding in the roadway and how to handle various situations that one may encounter while on their bicycle.
C.R.S. 42-4-1412(7) says that a person operating a bicycle, electric assisted bicycle, or electric scooter shall keep at least one hand on the handlebars at all times.
C.R.S. 42-4-221 is the statute that covers the lights and reflectors that are required when riding a bicycle during certain times. Such as, when riding at nighttime every bicycle is required to be equipped with a lamp on the front emitting white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet. Also, every bicycle is required to be equipped with a red reflector that is visible for 600 feet when directly in front of the lower beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle.
C.R.S. 42-4-714 states that the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a bicyclist or other authorized user of a bicycle lane in a bicycle lane.
C.R.S. 42-4-1008.5 declares that a driver of a motor vehicle shall not, in a careless and imprudent manner, drive the vehicle unnecessarily close to, toward, or near a bicyclist.
C.R.S. 42-4-1207 is a statute that says, no person shall open the door of a motor vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic, or leave a door open to the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.
A few Safety tips for all the cyclists out there
- Wear a helmet that is properly fitted and secured.
- Make sure that your bike is properly fitted to your height.
- Check that your breaks are working.
- Check that your tires are properly inflated.
- It is helpful to wear reflective clothing to make yourself more visible to cars and other vehicles.
- Ride predictably, avoid swerving in and out of traffic.
- Always stay alert of your surroundings.
- Have fun!
What to do if you are in an accident while riding a bike
- Stay calm and evaluate the situation.
- Move to the side of the road away from oncoming traffic.
- Get the relevant insurance and identification information about the other party involved in the collision.
- Document the scene with pictures or videos.
- Seek appropriate medical attention.
- Evaluate whether you need the assistance of an attorney with this incident.
- Contact McDivitt Law Firm and our team of experienced personal injury attorneys will be able to assist you during this difficult time.
Learn more about bicycle accidents.