While biking the roads and trails of North Carolina can bring much pleasure, it can also put bicyclists at risk of death or injury. A small number of laws strive to keep users of this mode of transportation safe.
An awareness of these laws could prevent an injury or reduce the severity of a bike accident.
Information from the group BikeWalk NC compiled several laws applicable to bicycle operations in North Carolina. While adults do not have to wear helmets, children under 16 must wear helmets when operating a bicycle. The helmet must fit securely and have fasteners to attach the helmet to the head. Children riding on a bicycle operated by an adult must maintain an erect, seated position on the bike.
When riding at night, bicyclists must equip their bikes with lamps and reflective mirrors. The front lamp must have a light that others can see from a distance of at least 300 feet. The bicyclists must also have rear lights or bright clothing visible for at least 300 feet.
While operating a bicycle on NC roadways, bicyclists must adhere to certain traffic rules, many of which pertain to motor vehicles as well. These include riding on the right side of the road and following speed limits.
Bicyclists can overtake traffic on the right as long as a separate marked travel lane exists. Authorities can charge bicyclists with impaired driving if the operator has an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.
Bicycle accidents injure many people each year in North Carolina. Victims of accidents should look to preserve their legal rights.