In light of this 3rd biking accident, KTVB should take this opportunity to educate the public on the rules of the road for bikers . It would be very beneficial to find out what the bikers are supposed to be doing and the proper way for cars to share the road.
- Crissie M. via e-mail
BOISE - With three deadly accidents involving cars and bikes in recent weeks -- many of you have written to ask just what the rules of the road are.
The bottom line: bicyclists and drivers are treated the same -- both must follow the same laws.
But as a practical matter... People on bikes have to exercise extra caution, since they stand to lose the most in a collision.
Drivers of cars are required to yield to bikes, but much of the burden for safety lies with bicyclists
Boise Police spokesperson Lynn Hightower stresses that safety for cyclists is a team effort.
"The responsibility for motorists is essentially to know and follow the rules of the road, and bicyclists are treated - when they are on the road - as another motor vehicle," Hightower said.
But Hightower says that above all else -- drivers should avoid driving while distracted.
"You should not drive, ride, pedal distracted -- or carelessly. If you are going to do that, get off the road because there is no place for distracted driving or riding or careless driving or riding - someone's going to get hurt," Hightower said.
Here some other specifics according to Idaho state law:
- Bicyclists cannot ride with more than two riders side by side
- If a bicycle rider takes to the sidewalk, they must yield to people on foot, and give an audible signal before passing.
- Bikes that are on the streets at night are required to have a light that's visible from at least 500 feet away so that drivers can see them.
Also, a note about stop signs and lights. Bike riders must yield at stop signs, but do not have to come to a full stop, according to Idaho law. They must stop at lights - but can cross an intersection on red if there is no traffic.
The best thing to do might be to take a minute and read all the laws for yourself. . (PDF).