Higher gas prices and increased interest in alternate modes of transportation mean “sharing the road” with more bicycles. Bicycles are legal vehicles on Minnesota roads and bicyclists have the same rights as motorists. This means they share equally the responsibilities of bicycle safety and reducing bicycle/motor vehicle crashes. The top factor contributing to these crashes is failure of both bicyclists and motorists to yield the right-of-way.
Motorists should be aware of bicyclists on the road. The law requires a three-foot clearance when passing a bicycle. Bicyclists may ride on the roadway even if there is a parallel bike trail. Most bike trails have a speed limit and faster moving bicyclists can be a safety hazard to other trail users. Bicyclists also may ride two abreast on the road as long as it does not impede normal and reasonable movement of traffic.
Bicyclists, you are a vehicle, so ride in the same direction as traffic, obey all traffic control signs and signals and signal your turns.
To learn more about bicycle safety in Minnesota, visit www.sharetheroadmn.org.