This is the trend of the new year: people are riding astride bikes. No, they do not have all the rights. Yes, they must respect a few rules.
All the cyclists who started to blossom on the roads this fall are saving the planet by limiting their carbon footprint, saving the security and saving valuable time for the productivity of the start-up nation. Nevertheless, as Benjamin Parker put it: "A great power implies great responsibilities." Let us make a quick inventory of the rights and duties of bicycle users.
Where should the cyclist go?
This is the big question that causes permanent conflicts between users of the public space: motorists pestering against these "lamb" on roads where they could run at more than 50 km / h, pedestrians fulminate against these deviants who roll the brew on the pavement.
The bike paths are mandatory for bicycles only if they are indicated with a round panel. They are only recommended if the panel is square. Cyclists are also often entitled to an area at the level of traffic lights so that they can position themselves in front of other road users (the goal is to slow traffic).
The rest of the time, the cyclist can move on the road like other vehicles, positioning himself to the right of the roadway, except when cars are parked on his right. He then has the right to ride in the middle of the roadway to guard against untimely door openings. And nothing forces him to fall back to the right to facilitate the doubling by motorized vehicles; on the other hand, the latter has the authorization to overlap the white line to be able to double with the regulation safety meter. Yes, 1 meter is 100 cm, the minimum agglomeration.
Cyclists can walk on sidewalks but must ride their horses by hand and walk alongside. Except for children under 8 years old who have the right to ride on sidewalks. Pedestrian areas are allowed for cyclists who pedal. On the other hand, they have to pace and give priority to pedestrians. It is also a rule that is easy to remember: the pedestrian is always a priority. Think that in the food chain of the road, he is even more vulnerable than the cyclist.
Can the cyclist burn the red lights?
Like all road users, it must respect the traffic lights. On the other hand, exceptions are planned with the famous M12 panel. This one can be arranged by the authorities at the level of the traffic lights and allows the cyclists to consider the traffic light like a yield-the-passage. He can cross it if he takes one of the planned directions, but he must give priority to pedestrians crossing and other vehicles engaged in the traffic.
The M12 panel is sometimes of respectable size so that everyone can see it. In Paris, the municipality chose a small panel, visible only when one approaches the fire. The arrows indicate which directions are possible for the cyclist who crosses the red light. The directions can very well cumulate, with the jackpot of the three-way arrow that we often see Antony.
How to equip the cyclist?
There is no mandatory attire for cycling, except out of town at night. Therefore, a high visibility reflective vest, commonly known as a "yellow vest", must be worn. On the other hand, the bike itself must have some safety features: brakes, bell, lighting, and reflectors.
The helmet is not compulsory in the bike, except for children under 12, whether they are pedaling or passengers. Headsets are forbidden to cyclists as to all drivers of vehicles on the road. If you want to listen to the radio while driving as the motorists do, you have the right to use a portable speaker and to share it with your entourage. A little music will always be better than the roar of the engines. Now all you have to do is get on your bike and pedal, for example, to get to work.