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Traffic laws for Virginia bicyclists

| Oct 19, 2020 | Personal Injury |

If you frequently travel by bike in Virginia, you should understand how the rules of the road affect you. In general, you must follow the same traffic laws that apply to drivers.

Keeping these tenets in mind while you ride can help you avoid a serious auto accident injury.

Red light rules

You can go through a red light when it is safe to do so. However, you first have to stop on your bike for longer than two minutes. After the required time passes, look both ways and make sure you can safely proceed. In this situation, drivers who do approach have the right of way.

Where to ride

Stay far to the right and go with the flow of traffic if you are riding on a busy road. Use a bike lane or path wherever possible. Virginia law prohibits bike riding between lanes of traffic but allows two riders to share a lane.

On sidewalks and other multiuse paths, give pedestrians the right of way. Stop at crosswalks and stop signs in these areas.

Required signals

Regardless of where you are traveling, let others know your plans at each intersection with arm signals. Before stopping, hold your left arm straight out and bent downward at a 90-degree angle. For a right turn, turn the left arm upward so the fingers face the sky at a 90-degree angle. A straight horizontal left arm signifies a left turn.

Remember that some Virginia cities and towns may also have their own rules for bicycle riders. Check the municipal website when you plan to cycle in a new location.

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