In large cities and major population centers, more and more favorable conditions for two-wheeled transport are gradually being created. One of these amenities is a designated bicycle lane. It is a separate road on which two-wheelers can move. As a rule, it is denoted by a special sign “bike lane”.
It is very practical and safe. After all, every day there are more and more cyclists in the cities. With the frantic pace of the city, it is sometimes difficult for them to maneuver between pedestrians and cars. The appearance of a separate bicycle lane helps to systematize traffic flows and avoid accidents.
What a bike lane means
Separate sections of roads appeared relatively recently – in 2014. The bicycle lane is equal to the roadway, but it is designed for certain vehicles. Not only cyclists can use it, but also drivers of other motorized two-wheeled vehicles. Most often the bike lane runs parallel to the roadway.
It should be understood that a lane and a path are fundamentally different concepts. Specifically:
- A lane is a place for complete vehicles to travel that runs parallel to the main flow of traffic.
- A lane is more of a recreational option. Not only cyclists, but also pedestrians (including rollerbladers) can move on it. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the paths.
As bicycles increasingly appear in the city limits, many opinions have emerged about where and how they should go. To begin with, we need to sort out whether the cyclist is a driver or a pedestrian:
- A driver – a cyclist is behind the wheel of a bicycle and driving it.
- The pedestrian is the road user who drives the bicycle alongside.
Accordingly, this is the starting point. The cyclist can ride in the general flow, observing the same rules as motorists, or on designated paths.
What are the signs for the bike lane?
There are two signs to indicate the presence of a designated bike lane: the beginning and end of the bike lane. The most common is a circle with a blue background that has a schematic picture of a cyclist on it. It may have an arrow pointing up or down. If the symbol is in the middle of the road, the designated section is for two-wheeled vehicles. If the sign is on the right, the bike lane will also be on the right.
The end of the bike lane is marked with the same symbol as the beginning, but crossed out with a red line. There may be parallel lanes on the road signs with a given direction of travel.
Who can ride in this lane
Motorized vehicles (except mopeds) may not ride in the bicycle lane. Keep in mind that not everyone can ride in the bike lane – the DMV clearly states the age limit. Persons over the age of 14 can drive a bicycle and move along the designated areas. Children under that age cannot ride in the designated lane by themselves, but can be accompanied by an adult.
As life practice shows, the protocols against cyclists are very rarely drawn up. But that doesn’t mean that you can ride as you please on public roads. Bicyclists must also follow the rules of the road and not create potentially dangerous situations.
What’s more, the Highway Code clearly spells out the violations that carry liability:
- Drunk driving is strictly prohibited. It entails administrative responsibility and the imposition of a fine of 1500 rubles. Much depends on the consequences – if an accident occurred through the fault of a drunk cyclist, resulting in injury to someone, the amount of the fine may increase.
- Driving out on the sidewalk in the presence of a bicycle lane is punishable by a fine of 800 rubles.
In addition, it is necessary to take into account other requirements. In particular, the cyclist must not interfere with the movement of other participants. This may apply to the dimensions of the vehicle – carried luggage should not protrude more than 1 m on both sides. Getting on the road, you need to check the serviceability of brakes and other mechanisms.
Bicycle lane – this is not a walkway, but a separate section of the road, designed for the movement of mopeds, bicycles and other two-wheeled vehicles. The section is marked with special signs that allow you to quickly orient yourself in the general flow.