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Bicyclists and Pedestrians: Sharing the Road Safely

Bicycling and walking are popular forms of exercise and are also eco-friendly alternatives for commuting. While these activities provide numerous health benefits and help reduce traffic congestion, they also require certain safety considerations.

With such high numbers of pedestrians and bicyclists sharing the roads with motor vehicles, it’s more important than ever to prioritize safety by observing traffic rules and fostering mutual respect among all road users.

Important Bicycle Laws to Be Aware Of

Understanding and adhering to bicycle laws is crucial for promoting safety on the roads. Traditionally, bicyclists navigating traffic were expected to abide by the same regulations that apply to motorists. However, recent changes to Colorado law have provided bicyclists with more flexibility under specific conditions.

Under the new law, referred to as Safety Stop, when approaching stop signs, bicyclists are permitted to treat them as yield signs – meaning they can proceed without coming to a full stop if road conditions are safe and there’s no oncoming traffic or pedestrians present.

Similarly, at red lights, cyclists can now behave as though it’s a stop sign; they must come to a complete stop but may then continue through the intersection if it’s free of traffic and pedestrians.

The Safety Stop gives people on bikes and other “low speed conveyances” the legal option to ride slowly through stop signs without stopping first, as long as they are yielding right of way to pedestrians and other road users who have the right-of-way. Bicyclists and users of low-speed conveyances may also proceed at red lights after coming to a complete stop, if there is no oncoming traffic.

This law does not alter right-of-way laws; cyclists must remain mindful of pedestrians at all times, ensuring they yield to them appropriately. In the event, you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident, contact our Colorado Springs bicycle accident attorneys.

Important Pedestrian Laws to Be Aware Of

Across the United States, approximately 5,000 pedestrians tragically lose their lives and an additional 70,000 suffer injuries as a result of traffic accidents each year, and some of these accidents include bicycles. Young children and the elderly are at a higher risk of fatalities or severe injuries in pedestrian-related accidents compared to other age groups. These statistics make it essential to understand pedestrian laws in Colorado and to strictly follow them.

One of the most important pedestrian laws is to not step into the street suddenly, especially if a bicycle or vehicle is close enough that it could present a danger

Being alert and cautious while navigating the streets can significantly reduce the risk of accidents, safeguarding pedestrians and cyclists against potential injuries or worse.

Important Tips For Cyclists and Pedestrians to Share The Road Safely 

For cyclists and pedestrians to share the road safely, adhering to specific tips and practices is crucial. Consider the following:

Communicate: When you’re sharing the road, active communication is essential. Making eye contact provides an informal yet effective negotiation of who does what next – this applies whether you’re cycling or walking. Try using hand signals when on a bike for turns or stopping as well.

Share the Space Respectfully: As a pedestrian or cyclist, respect and consideration are central to the communal use of shared spaces. If you’re on a bike, remember pedestrians may have a difficult time getting out of your way, so slow down in their proximity while passing them by. As a pedestrian, keeping to one side of the road or path gives plenty of room for cyclists.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings: Sharing the road safely is about being considerate of each other and paying attention to your surroundings, whether you are walking or cycling. This means keeping a keen eye on other road users and if you are in their way, try to move if you can do so safely

Stay Visible: This is crucial for road safety, especially at night or during poor weather conditions. This means wearing bright clothing or reflective gear and using lights when necessary if you’re a cyclist.

By following these tips, cyclists and pedestrians can significantly contribute to a safer and more harmonious sharing of the road, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries.

If you have questions or you’ve been injured in an accident as a pedestrian or a cyclist, don’t hesitate to contact our pedestrian accident lawyers in Colorado Springs to schedule a free consultation to discuss your next steps.