Many motor vehicle drivers make the mistake of treating a biker on the road as a poor country cousin as compared to motorbikes and cars. However, as far as safety is concerned, bicycles are at par with other vehicles. In fact, one of the fundamental rules of safe bicycle riding is that you should ride your bicycle as if it is a vehicle. Just because you happen to control the movement of your bicycle through the pedal does not mean safety is not an issue. There are detailed rules and regulations governing the rider of a bike. The rules and regulations can be divided into the following categories:
-Rules Related To The Make Of The Bike
-Rules To Be Adhered To When Riding On The Road
Rules Related To The Make Of The Bike
The bike must be fitted with the necessary safety accessories to ensure neither the bike nor other automobiles pose any risk to each other on the roads. These rules are important because bicycles move slowly while automobiles are a lot faster. Any mishap or collision involving the two will definitely lead to injuries and even fatalities. Hence, the cycle must be fitted with a light in front and reflectors at back and in the pedals. The reflector fitted in the backside of the cycle must be at the lawful high beam height of automobiles. This will ensure that the cyclist is visible to the automobile driver from a distance.
The law also requires that bicycles be comfortable machines. Extremely large handles or complicated braking mechanisms are not allowed. The bike is required to be fitted with a brake that shall cause the bike to skid when applied hard on a dry surface. The idea is to ensure the rider can bring the bike to a stop very quickly if needed.
Rules To Be Adhered To When Riding On The Road
There are elaborate rules that the rider must follow when actually riding the cycle on the road. The best way to follow all rules is to pretend as if you are driving a vehicle. You will never ignore rules just because you are riding a bicycle. On many occasions I have seen bikers ignore the traffic light when it is on red and move on. I hope I never witness a fatality but the probability of that happening is high.
There are specific rules that prohibit the rider from using the door zone. Door accidents occur very often. The biker travels too close to a parked car and the door of the car opens suddenly and the cyclist collides with the suddenly opened door. Such accidents may seem very comical but can lead to serious injuries. The best way to avoid such accidents is to ensure you stay away from the door zone. The rider is required to fit an audible bell on the cycle and use it whenever required.
Bicycles must not be parked in such a manner that they inconvenience the pedestrians. More often than not, we find cycles parked in a haphazard manner. Again, it is preferable to treat your bicycle as a vehicle. Just as you would not park your car improperly, you should not park your bike improperly.