With Greg Lemond‘s and Lance Armstrong‘s performances in the Tour de France, the popularity of cycling has increased enormously. Gas prices aren’t hurting either. With that said, cyclists and motorists need to understand the laws of cycling so that the road can be shared without the risk of injury.
How does Alabama Law handle cycling? Well, we will attempt to provide some guidance in this area. First, in order to understand the rules, we must look to the Code of Alabama. Sections 32-5A-260 through 32-5A-266 and 32-5A-280 through 32-5A-286 govern cyclists on the roads of Alabama.
Section 32-5A-260 basically sets forth the principle rules governing cyclists and motorists. It says that cyclists are afforded the same rights and subject to the same duties as motorists with the exception of the specific code sections which follow. What does this mean? It means that if you are a motorist and come upon a cyclist, you must treat that cyclist as you would treat another motorist, i.e.: pass only when safe, don’t follow too close, etc.
When you think about it, this is a good start. Cycling is an environmentally friendly way to travel, and it is a good way to keep fit so we should encourage cycling. One way to encourage cycling is to provide cyclists with rights on the roadways. Given the dangers of riding such a two-wheeled vehicle, cyclists should receive the same protections as any other motorist on the roadways. So, when you are traveling in a car or truck and come upon a cyclist, remember that they have the same rights and obligations you do.
In our next part in this series, we will look at some of the other code sections in more depth.