Traverse City Record-Eagle

October 6, 2013

What Michigan law says about cyclists

From staff reports
Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — n Just like motorists, cyclists are obligated to yield to pedestrians, signal turns, stop at red lights and stop signs, and observe yield signs.

n A bicyclist cannot carry any article that gets in the way of keeping both hands on the handle bars.

n A bicyclist must ride on the right-hand curb or edge of the road except in some circumstances, including riding on a one-way street that is two lanes wide, in which case the cyclist may ride near the left-hand curb or edge of the roadway

n A cyclist does not have to ride on the right-hand edge if it’s unsafe or unusable.

n Bicyclists cannot ride more than two abreast unless on a path or portion of the street or highway specifically designated for bike use.

n Bicyclists may ride on a sidewalk or in a crosswalk unless prohibited by the local unit of government or an official traffic control device. (Sidewalks are statistically less safe to ride on than streets.) Bicycles have the same rights and responsibilities in a crosswalk as pedestrians. There is no Traverse City ordinance that bans riding bikes in a crosswalk. Traverse City does ban bikes on sidewalks in the downtown area where posted, said Missy Luick, planning and engineering assistant.

n Persons riding bicycles on sidewalks or crosswalks must give pedestrians right-of-way and voice a warning before passing a pedestrian.

n A bicycle that is ridden on a roadway between a half-hour after sunset and a half-hour before sunrise must have a white headlight visible from at least 500 feet in front of the bike, and a red reflector on the back of the bike that can be seen from 600 feet behind the bike when struck with car headlights.

n There is no Michigan statute requiring that a bicyclist wear a helmet, but some local units of government require it. Traverse City does not.

Source: Michigan Vehicle Code