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The Gentleman's Guide to Biking - Red Lights & Stop Signs

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Posted by admin on Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I ride my bike around five miles a day. I ride to and from work, school and bars mainly.  Biking is good for the body, environment and bank account.

Bicycle riders all follow different rules regarding other cars, traffic signals and pedestrians. Some fly around with reckless abandon, while others are cautious and obey the traffic laws.

I will be sharing my opinions on the best practices for cyclists in this weekly series known as:

First up is the most contentious it seems, Stop Lights/Signs

Running stoplights and signs can be a testy issue. As a bicyclist and a driver, I know both sides of the problem. Determining whether to run the light or stop at the sign depends on several factors. If you follow these tips, you will be in the clear.

If there is a Red Light, cruising through is permissible only if:

  • No pedestrians are present.
  • Oncoming cars are at least 100 yards away.
  • Traffic is light and not constant.
  • No Police are looking at you

or either

  • It a red light that dead ends at a road and you are going across. Meaning the traffic that has a green light can only turn, not go straight.
  • All pedestrian crossing lights allow pedestrian traffic.

For a Stop Sign, follow these guidelines:

  • If another car is present at the stop sign before you, full stop and let them go.
  • If pedestrians are present and in front of you, full stop.
  • If cars are in the distance, cruise by at slow speed.

Tune in next week for another topic!

- Bill Bowman

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