As statistics show, the number of accidents involving cyclists increases with the advent of heat. And all because fellow drivers do not comply with the rules of the road, guided by the fact that the bicycle is not a vehicle. Is it really so? Let’s not reinvent the wheel, but look at the official document and find out if a bicycle is a vehicle. And here it is written in black and white that a bike is, in fact, a vehicle equipped with two wheels and moved by muscular force.
The definition of a vehicle under the traffic code
In reality, it’s not all that simple. Most cyclists do not consider themselves full participants in the road, so they behave like pedestrians, despite the fact that they drive a vehicle. And here’s where you can draw a clear line that determines when a cyclist becomes a pedestrian and when they become a driver. So, if you are driving a bicycle in your hand, you are a pedestrian. If you were sitting in the saddle, you’ve turned into a driver. That’s what you have to dance from. Accordingly, if you are driving a bicycle, you must also obey the rules of the road for motorists (ride in the same stream, cross intersections in accordance with the traffic rules, as well as not to create emergency situations on the road, etc.).
There is one more important clarification in the traffic rules, concerning the drivers of bicycles. Specifically, all road users can be divided into three categories:
- The driver himself;
- A motor vehicle.
A bicycle has no engine. Accordingly, a bicycle is not a mechanical vehicle. But this does not mean that the person driving it should not obey the traffic rules. The cyclist is directly related to the rules that apply to the remaining categories.
Duties of a cyclist on the road
The first and most important rule is to clearly obey the traffic rules and not cause accidents on the road. In addition, the cyclist must ride on designated pedestrian or bicycle lanes, curbs or sidewalks. Bike drivers can move in general traffic on the freeway from the age of 14. But one must adhere to the same speed limit as cars. Accordingly, a person operating a bicycle must cross intersections, change lanes and turn in accordance with the traffic code. Other road users should be warned of their maneuvers: in particular, to show the turn by extending the arm in the appropriate direction.
There are certain responsibilities directly related to the bicycle itself. So, the vehicle must have fixed brakes, working sound signal, as well as stand cataphotas and reflective elements. On a bicycle, the front light should be white and the back light should be red. You must transport your child in a special seat.
Prohibitions for bicyclists
There is a section in the official document regarding prohibitions for bicyclists. They all boil down to the fact that the person driving the vehicle should not create obstacles for other road users. Here are its main provisions:
- A bicyclist is not allowed to ride with the handlebars off (you have to hold them with at least one hand).
- Cross the carriageway on a zebra on a bicycle (this is a pedestrian zone, so you can get off the bike and lead it in your hands).
- Carry a load that protrudes more than 1.5 meters to either side.
- To operate a bicycle while under the influence of alcohol.
Given the fact that the bike is a vehicle under the traffic rules, you can guess that the traffic police officers can stop the driver, draw up a protocol in case of violation of the traffic rules, and write a fine, corresponding to one or the other point.
Despite the fact that the fines for cyclists are not as great as for car drivers, for example, repeated bringing to administrative responsibility does not bode well. Thus, the driver may be fined from 1000 to 1500 rubles for operating a two-wheeled vehicle while intoxicated. About the same amount will have to be paid if the cyclist created obstacles to the movement of cars. Damage to health caused by the fault of the cyclist – 1000-1500 rubles.
If you do decide to become a full-fledged participant of the road traffic, it is worth listening to the advice and recommendations of professional cyclists who ride bikes for many years:
- Buy normal tires. If you mostly ride on paved or well-compacted dirt roads, tires with a smooth surface in the center and teeth on the edges will be the best option. You’ll notice the difference in road feel right away.
- Comfortable Saddle. When you spend quite a bit of time on your bike, a comfortable fit becomes an important factor.
- The grip of the pedals and shoes. This is where you need to choose either good sneakers or change your pedals. Professional riders used to fasten the foot with straps, so that the foot does not slip off. Now you can easily buy special sneakers that provide optimal grip on the pedal.
And don’t drive too fast. It’s only at the beginning you want to ride with a breeze. Long you will not be enough: a couple of miles of the body tired and you do not get proper pleasure from pokatushki. Ride at a moderate speed.
We have found out that by law a bicycle is a means of transport. Whether we like it or not, but getting on the saddle, we become full participants of the road, which must comply with the relevant requirements and respect other drivers, so as to prevent emergency situations on the road.