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Do you know the biking laws of New York?

Biking can be a great form of transportation to work or simply to get some exercise. However, just like other drivers on the road, bicyclists have traffic laws they must follow. It is very important to know and follow these laws so that you do not unknowingly violate them and wind up with a traffic ticket. They were also created with safety in mind so it is in your interest to follow them anyway.

Obey traffic signs

With a few small exceptions here and there, bicycles are treated like any other vehicle. You must stop at red lights and stop signs, correctly follow road signs, such as a yield, and adhere to any other rules of the road. This allows cars to know what you will do and avoid collisions with you. Signaling with your hands at turns can be an added safety measure to show your intentions.

Never ride on sidewalks

You must legally ride in the street. If there is a designated lane for bicycles, you should use it, but this may not be available on some streets. Make sure you are always riding in the same direction as traffic. Riding on sidewalks is not only illegal but it poses a big threat to pedestrians and could lead to a crash for which you may be responsible.

Make your bike visible

By New York law, your bicycle needs to have a headlight, taillight and reflectors. You also legally need some sort of horn or bell on your bike so you can signal your presence to vehicles during a dangerous situation.

There is not a law about what bicyclists must wear, but bright or reflective clothing is recommended for your safety, especially at night.

What happens if I am in a bike accident?

Despite obeying these traffic laws and riding with caution, it is possible you could end up in a crash with a car or other vehicle. If this happens, you may be able to seek compensation to help with your recovery and any lasting effects, such as lost job earnings. If you were riding a Citi Bike, other parties may be at fault and your case might be even more complicated. It is important to consult an attorney about your rights and your options going forward.

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