Cycling is a travel option that divides a lot of people. On the one hand, it is better for the environment and our health, but on the other hand some people argue that cyclists do not follow the rules of the road, and have a disregard of their and others rights. You may think that cyclists rights on the roads are different than vehicles because they do not have to pay the same road tax. That is not true, cyclists rights on the roads are essentially the same as vehicles rights on the roads.
Cyclists Rights on Roads
Cyclists have the same rights on the roads as other road users, but they also have other rules. For example, at a junction, cyclists are usually permitted to go ahead of vehicles to stop at traffic lights.
Cyclists can use the full width of the lane as much as anyone else. They are also allowed to ride two abreast. Cyclists do not have to use the designated cycle lane on the roads. However, cyclists are encouraged to ride single file where possible to avoid collisions.
Bicycles do not have to have a bell fitted by law. The law states that calling out to give a warning is sufficient. The only equipment that a bicycle must legally have are reflectors and working brakes, plus front and rear lights if the cyclist intends to bike at night. However, the Highway Code does advise consideration of pedestrians in this, and whilst calling out may be acceptable, a bell may be more socially considerate.
Lane splitting, when cyclists undertake and overtake cars and change lanes in order to move through traffic faster, is perfectly legal.
The Highway Code states that road users should be aware of others when travelling. It also mentions cyclists should avoid filtering in and out of traffic if it could cause conflict with another person. An example of this is when approaching a junction. Overtaking is the safest way to do this, as it is generally less dangerous than undertaking.
Unlike vehicles, there is no speed limit for cyclists on the roads. However, some local authorities do impose speed limits for cyclists. They must also follow a speed limit in the Royal parks.
Although speeding is not an offence in itself, cyclists who cycle dangerously are committing an offence under section 28 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. This means that they can face fines of up to £2500. Careless cycling is also an offence under section 29 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. This is when a cyclist uses the road without due care and attention for other road users. A cyclist doing this may face a fine of up to £1000.
The Most Common Causes of Cycling Accidents
Accidents involving cyclists can happen for all sorts of reasons. However, in our experience, the most common causes of cycling accident claims include:
- Hit and run road traffic accidents.
- Collision with a car, vehicle or even another cyclist or a pedestrian.
- Vehicle doors opening into the path of an oncoming cyclist.
- Potholes, worn tarmac, raised manhole covers and other defects in the road.
- Any slippery road conditions due to oil spills, ice and snow.
Many cyclists don’t realise that if an accident was someone else’s fault, a cyclist can claim compensation.
Who Is at Fault for Cycling Accidents?
There are instances in cycling accidents where the cyclist may be at fault, and there are instances where it may be someone else’s fault. instances where a cyclist may be at fault include not wearing high visibility clothing, not having lights on their bike, cycling whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or cycling carelessly. If a cyclist has not followed the rules set out in The Highway Code, then they may also be at fault.
Cyclists Rights on Roads: How We Can Help
Here at The Compensation Experts we work with solicitors who have years of experience in all manner of personal injury claims. This includes accidents on the road involving cyclists. Contact us today by filling in our contact form, or by calling us on 0800 182 2187 to speak to one of our friendly knowledgeable advisors.