Bicycle Laws in New Jersey
Everyone at one time or another has ridden a bicycle. Those who have ridden their bikes near or on a roadway have probably been subjected to honking horns and angry drivers yelling at them to get out of their way. But, did you know that you have rights as a bike rider when it comes to hitting the streets?
Before we dive into some of New Jersey’s laws regarding bicycles, here are some things you should know. Bicycling has increased in popularity in recent years, especially when it comes to commuting to work. According to the U.S. Census, the number of Americans who ride their bike to work has increased by 60% since 2000. Bicycling is also considered one of the healthiest exercises you can do for your health. It’s a healthy and cost-effective way of traveling compared to breaking your wallet at the gas pump.
Bicycle Safety Laws
Under Garden State law, bicyclists who take to the streets have all the rights and duties applicable to that of a driver. This includes using turn signals, obeying street signs and traffic signals, and using only the right side of the road. When roadway traffic is flowing normally, bicyclists can usually travel side-by-side in a single lane. When traveling at slower speeds, those on bikes must be single file and to the right side of the road.
When it comes to riding a bicycle at night, make sure a lamp or light is attached to the front emitting white light and a light on the rear emitting red light. Keep in mind, that each bike should have a red reflector on the rear as well. The reflector should be visible from a distance of up to 500 feet.
Riding a bicycle on a sidewalk has also been a question that many have asked. According to the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), there are no laws that prohibit or authorize bicyclists from riding on sidewalks. Although, some towns throughout the state have passed laws and regulations banning sidewalks to bikers to ensure the safety of traveling pedestrians.
Bicycle Helmet Laws
This next issue is as much a law as it is a health and safety issue. Every year, New Jersey bicyclists are killed or injured because of the lack of proper helmet usage. According to the New Jersey Division of Traffic Highway Safety, it is the most common injury among bicyclists.
New Jersey law requires anyone who rides a bike under the age of 17 to wear a helmet. This also applies to roller-skating, in-line skating, and skateboarding. According to the law, anyone under the age of 17 does not have the necessary knowledge of appropriate helmet-wearing procedures.
If you were injured in a bicycling accident or are unsure the bicycling laws in New Jersey, the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone is here to guide you through the law. Contact our offices today for a free consultation.