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Jon Lewis
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Bicycle Accidents and Injuries – Part 3 in a Series

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“Look Ma! No Hands!” Have you ever heard that followed by: “Look Ma! No Teeth!”? What is the rule in Alabama with respect to riding a bicycle with no hands? One hand? Two hands? Section 32-5A-264 governs riding a bicycle while carrying articles. That statute states, “No person operating a bicycle shall carry any package, bundle or article which prevents the driver from keeping at least one hand upon the handlebars.” Consequently, you may ride your bicycle with one hand, but don’t ride your bike without using both of your hands.

Alabama law also mandates certain equipment which must be used on your bicycle. For example, if you are riding at night, you must have a white light on the front of the bike visible from 500 feet. In addition, you must have a red reflector visible for 600 feet on the rear of the bike or a red light visible from 500 feet. Other equipment required is a brake. Again, these laws should not even be necessary. Would it be smart to ride at night without a light? Would it be smart to ride a bike without a brake?

What happens if you violate any of the laws set forth in this series? It’s a misdemeanor. Moreover, if the parent of any child authorizes or knowingly permits their child to violate any of these rules, the parent will be in violation of the same and be subject to a misdemeanor punishment.