GET ANSWERS: Cyclists and Drivers Share Roads, Not Rules

5:24 PM, Jul 18, 2011   |    comments
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With the Better Bicycling Bill passed in May, both drivers and pedalists may be wondering how to take advantage of sharing the road.

Tracy Murphey wrote to 13WMAZ asking, "Why people who bicycle on major roads, who can be involved in, cause, or be found at fault in accidents are not required to have insurance, licenses, or identifying tags?"

But the Macon Police Department's Traffic Director, Lieutenant Wilton Collins, says not all rules are shared by drivers and bikers.

When it comes to biking, Evan Ayoub knows his stuff.

He's a mechanic at Bike Tech in Macon, but hits the road every chance he gets.

"Macon actually has some really beautiful places to ride, however, that is a little detracted by the way drivers here behave toward cyclists," he says.

Lieutenant Collins says, by Georgia law, cyclists must stay as far right as possible on major roadways.

"Them being actually in a lane of traffic in a city street is not the law. They will be ticketed for that," says Collins.

And under the Better Bicycling Bill signed by Governor Deal, drivers must leave three feet between their vehicle and a biker when passing.

"A cyclist isn't in a gigantic metal cage like a car is, and it's really easy for someone to get injured and a simple mistake by a motorist could really mean the end of a life for a cyclist," says Ayoub.

But Ayoub admits when he hits the pedals, he doesn't carry identification.

"There's really not an easy way to carry a lot of equipment with you while you're cycling, however, any cyclist knows to just take cell phone with you in case of emergency," he says.

Lieutenant Collins says, cyclists without identification tags aren't breaking any rules.

"As far as any law goes about them having to have a license plate or them having to have a driver's license to operate or have insurance on the bike--no. There are no laws that mention that specifically," he says.

The short answer is there's no law requiring cyclists to carry identification such as license plates or insurance, and Lieutenant Collins says, he's not aware if that issue has ever been addressed.

He says, carrying identification for cyclists is a matter of personal opinion and preference.

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