Road sharing among vehicles and bicyclists sometimes can create hazards, which is why driving rules in Colorado address this issue. But some motorists still may fail to respect bicyclists’ rights, which can lead to unsafe driving behaviors that put cyclists at risk. In the event of an accident, a bicycle accident lawyer in Denver, Colorado, will examine adherence to state laws if helping a client pursue a claim.
Crowding or Threatening a Bicyclist: Colorado Road Sharing Laws
Colorado Revised Statute C.R.S. 42-4-1008.5 specifically addresses drivers of motor vehicles crowding or threatening bicyclists. This type of action is considered careless and without regard for the consequences. A motorist shouldn’t drive unnecessarily close to, near or toward a bicyclist. There can be a variety of reasons why this might happen.
For instance, a motorist might attempt to pass a bicycle. In Colorado, road sharing laws state that bicyclists should be given at least three feet of space when passing. In order to accommodate bicyclists, motorists are allowed to cross a centerline (when it’s clear) in order to pass bicyclists safely.
A distracted or reckless driver who doesn’t notice the bicyclist might crowd him or her. Regardless of the circumstances, it is against the law to crowd or threaten a bicyclist. When a driver commits such an act, it is considered careless driving. This is a class two misdemeanor traffic offense.
However, if it results in bodily injury or death, then it’s a class one misdemeanor traffic offense. Penalties for both offenses could include fines and imprisonment. A bicycle accident lawyer in Denver, Colorado may use a citation for these offenses to demonstrate the driver’s negligence and liability.
Rules for Bicyclists Sharing the Road with Other Motorists
Bicyclists have the same rights to the road as motorists and also must follow road sharing rules. Just as drivers of a motor vehicle are required to obey all traffic signals, signs and laws, so are bicyclists. But there are additional driving rules in Colorado that specifically apply to bicycles.
For instance, no more than two bicycles can ride side-by-side. However, if the flow of traffic would be hindered, then cyclists should ride single file. Those who are traveling on shoulders or roads that don’t have bike lanes always should ride single file because this is safest.
Bicyclists should ride as far to the right as possible, though they shouldn’t ride in the gutter. If it is a one-way street, bicyclists can choose to ride on the left side. But again, it should be as far to the left as possible. And regardless of the side of the road on which the cyclist rides, he or she always should ride in the same direction as traffic. Cyclists who are injured despite adherence to these driving rules in Colorado may wish to seek legal action with a bicycle accident lawyer in Denver.
Seeking Legal Counsel with a Bicycle Accident Lawyer after a Denver, Colorado
If it’s believed that a motorist was driving in an unsafe manner in violation of driving rules in Colorado, such as crowding a bike, and it resulted in the bicyclist sustaining injuries, the victim can consult an attorney who handles bike accidents. D.J. Banovitz is a bicycle accident lawyer in Denver, Colorado who not only can represent clients in these types of cases; he is also an avid bicyclist who understands road sharing rules and can help evaluate case details.