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What are some of New York City's most important bicycle laws?

Bicycle messengers, delivery riders and commuters are a common sight on the streets of New York City. Of course, this is due to the heavy traffic that crowds the roads every day. Bicyclists can actually traverse shorter distances much faster than motor vehicles. But even though these riders are traveling under their own power, they are still subject to the rules of the road.

New York City has a host of laws that all bicyclists must obey. These laws are aimed at keeping everyone safe, but they are especially important for the well-being of pedestrians and the cyclists themselves. The following are some of the key laws to which bicyclists must adhere:

  • Bicyclists must ride with traffic and not opposite it.
  • Bicyclists are required to follow all traffic signs and signals. This includes pavement markings, stop signs and traffic lights.
  • Bicyclists must limit their riding to the streets and are forbidden from riding on the sidewalks.
  • Bicycles must be equipped with a red taillight, a white headlight, reflectors and a horn or bell.
  • Bicyclists should use designated bike paths or lanes when available.

Also, bicyclists are permitted to ride on all of the city's main and local streets. And when bike lanes are unavailable, they can ride in the center of travel lanes. This means that bicyclists will routinely be crossing paths with both motor vehicles and pedestrians.

Sometimes in his or her haste to reach a destination, a bicyclist may ride at an excessive speed or even in a reckless manner. And if a rider is suddenly confronted with a pedestrian, there may not be time to avoid a collision. Such a collision could leave the pedestrian with serious or even fatal injuries.

If you are ever struck by a bicyclist in New York City, it may prove extremely beneficial to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The attorney can work to help you hold the negligent bicyclist accountable. The attorney can also work with insurance companies to get you compensation to pay for your care and recovery.

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