Rights come with responsibilities, even on two wheels.

People who ride bikes in traffic with cars and yet disobey the traffic laws that they and cars are bound by are one of my personal traffic pet peeves. Bicyclists have the same right to be on the road that I do in my car, and they have the very same responsibilities- bicyclists who blow off those responsibilities are part of the traffic problem, not part of the solution.

With that in mind, allow me to present selected highlights from the District’s Bicycle Laws (available in PDF form from DC Government’s site):

Regulation 1201.1:

Every person riding a bicycle on a highway shall be subject to all the duties applicable to the drivers of motor vehicles under this title, except as otherwise expressly provided in this chapter, and except for those duties imposed by this title which, by their nature, can have no reasonable application to a bicycle operator.

Regulation 1201.15:

No person shall operate a bicycle except in obedience to the instructions of official traffic control signals, signs, and other control devices applicable to vehicles, unless otherwise directed by a police officer or other person authorized to direct and control traffic.

Did you know bikes in DC have to be registered? I didn’t…

Regulation 1202.1:

No person shall operate a bicycle in the District unless the bicycle has been validly registered as provided by this chapter and bears a serial number, a valid registration tag, and valid registration plate, as provided by this chapter; or unless it is validly registered in another jurisdiction, when required by applicable law of such jurisdiction, and bears readily visible evidence of being registered.

So stop at the red lights, use hand signals, and stop cutting in front of cars when they’re trying to turn, and then maybe we won’t hate you so much.

6 Comments so far

  1. wayan (unregistered) on June 28th, 2005 @ 9:56 pm

    Honey, jealousy is not becoming. I’ll wave the next time I blow through a red light going the wrong way down a one-way street while you sit there steaming in traffic.

  2. Tiff (unregistered) on June 28th, 2005 @ 9:58 pm

    And I’ll laugh hysterically as I watch your ass get ticketed for it. Same fines as if a car did the same thing…

  3. Dan (unregistered) on June 29th, 2005 @ 10:28 am

    It’s not like this is new–the regs are from 1995. I don’t know about you, but I don’t see too many bikes getting ticketed.

  4. wayan (unregistered) on June 29th, 2005 @ 1:57 pm

    If I ever did get a ticket (haven’t in eight years, nor heard of one) then I’ll laugh with ya. Right after I sell the ticket on eBay as a collector’s item, being so rare and all.

  5. Myren (unregistered) on June 30th, 2005 @ 5:38 pm

    I got pulled over flying around NIH once on a bike. I was incredulous. I spent 30 minutes heckling the cop and laughing at her before biking off.

    Really, shove off it. Bike’s are self powered; maintaining inertia is a very real very visceral goal. If we had to stop every time traffic stopped there’d be no point whatsoever.

    DC’s ability to be as retarded as possible continually astounds me. Sure I love that the little kiddies have a curfew but its unfathomable that our nations capitol would be such a facist bastard to the youth. Registering bikes is yet another fine fine example that can kiss my black ass.

  6. Tiffany (unregistered) on June 30th, 2005 @ 5:45 pm

    Bike’s are self powered; maintaining inertia is a very real very visceral goal. If we had to stop every time traffic stopped there’d be no point whatsoever.

    You do have to stop, you just choose not to, creating a hazard not only for yourself but everyone else trying to use the intersection. Inertia is nice for cars too, and drivers would probably enjoy not having to slam on the brakes for every two-wheeled asshat who wants to use the roads without observing the basic safety procedures of a mobile society. To quote Lisa, “Hey, we’re trying to have a civilization over here!”

    If stopping and starting is such a drain on you, perhaps you should consider a vehicle more suitable for the situation.

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