Take A Break: The fact is that bicycles are legally vehicles and you are required to follow all the rules of the road, including stopping at stop signs and red lights (and waiting for the light to turn green before proceeding), yielding at Yield signs, and obeying No Right On Red signs. Sure, motorists break the rules all the time, but it’s still the law. Some bicyclists feel safer getting through intersections without cars, even when it means running a red light, but it isn’t actually safer than waiting for the light. You might get a few seconds of riding without cars alongside, but the same cars that would have passed you from a standstill at the intersection are now passing you going 30mph or more. While it is unfair to single out bicyclists, who are a tiny percentage of people on the road, we are a growing minority with a very real image problem that opponents of bicyclist rights, bike lanes, bike parking, and other bicycle facilities use as a reason to deny us these things.
And when you stop at a red light where another bicyclist is already waiting, do them a favor “ stay in line and wait your turn. Otherwise, you force faster bicyclists to repeatedly pass you, endangering both of you. Just think of it as enjoying your ride for a few more seconds.
- Bicycles are vehicles
- Bicyclists have to follow the rules
Every person operating a bicycle upon a way, as defined in section one of chapter ninety, shall have the right to use all public ways in the commonwealth except limited access or express state highways where signs specifically prohibiting bicycles have been posted, and shall be subject to the traffic laws and regulations of the commonwealth and the special regulations contained in this section, except that: (1) the bicycle operator may keep to the right when passing a motor vehicle which is moving in the travel lane of the way, (2) the bicycle operator shall signal by either hand his intention to stop or turn, and (3) bicycles may be ridden on sidewalks outside business districts when necessary in the interest of safety, unless otherwise directed by local ordinance. MGL chapter 85, section 11B http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/85-11b.htm
- Bicycles must stop at stop signs and red lights
Except when directed to proceed by a police officer, every driver of a vehicle approaching a stop sign or a flashing red signal indication shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or, if none, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering it. MGL chapter 89, section 9 http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/89-9.htm
- Bicyclists must obey yield signs
The driver of a vehicle approaching a yield sign shall in obedience to such sign slow down to a speed reasonable for the existing conditions and, if required for safety to stop, shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or, if none, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering it. After slowing or stopping, the driver shall yield the right of way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another roadway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time such driver is moving across or within the intersection or junction of roadways; provided, however, that if such a driver is involved in a collision with a vehicle in the intersection or junction of roadways, after driving past a yield sign without stopping, such collision shall be deemed prima facie evidence of his failure to yield the right of way. MGL chapter 89, section 9 http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/89-9.htm