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.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

Tiffany Baxendell Bridge is an Internet enthusiast and an incurable smartass. When not heckling the neighborhood political scene on Twitter, she can be found goofing off with her ukulele, Bollywood dancing, or obsessing about cult TV. She is That Woman With the Baby In the Bar.

Tiffany lives in Brookland with her husband Tom, son Charlie, and two high-maintenance cats. Read why Tiffany loves DC.

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