April is the time where the weather starts to get nice, and where your children start to bring out the bikes once again for some outdoor activities.
April is bike safety month. Reports by the Arizona Department of Health Services and city of Phoenix suggest that bicycle injuries involving children peak in March and April and remain high through May.
In 2010, two Arizona children died as a result of bicycle collisions. Neither was wearing a helmet, according to the state’s 2011 Child Fatality Program report.
In 2007, when Phoenix prepared its Bicycle Collision Summary, the city recorded 106 bicycle accidents involving children. Of the 46 cases for which it received information on helmet use, only four of the injured children had worn helmets.
With these kinds of statistics, it is easy to remember why safety is the most important element when your children ride their bikes to and from school, as well as around the neighborhood. As a phoenix bike accident lawyer, Chris Zachar has added a few state laws to help keep you and your children safe.
Below are a few tips, rules, and state laws to help keep your children safe during bike season.
Question: Do children have to wear bike helmets?
Answer: Several localities in Arizona have bicycle helmet laws. All of them target minors. In Flagstaff, Pima County, Sierra Vista, Tucson, and Yuma, children under the age of 18 must wear a helmet when on a bicycle.
Question: How many people can be on a bike?
Answer: Arizona Law states: “A person shall not use a bicycle to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped”.
Question: I have seen bike riders holding onto cars on the roadway. Is this legal?
Answer: Under Arizona law, a person riding on a bicycle shall not attach the bicycle to a vehicle on a roadway.
Question: Is it okay to carry packages or bags while riding a bike?
Answer: Under Arizona law, a person shall not carry a package, bundle, or article while operating a bicycle if the package, bundle or article prevents the driver from keeping at least one hand on the handlebars.
Question: If I ride on the roadway, I feel it is safer to face the cars coming toward me. Can I do this?
Answer: No. A person riding a bicycle on a roadway or on a shoulder adjoining a roadway is granted all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle. You MUST ride the same direction as traffic.
Question: Is it legal to ride on a sidewalk?
Answer: Some but not all cities have laws (called ordinances) that prohibit riding a bike on a sidewalk. Check your local laws to be sure.
Question: Am I required to use lights at night?
Answer: A bicycle that is used at nighttime shall have a lamp on the front that emits a white light visible from a distance of at least five hundred feet to the front and a red reflector on the rear of a type that is approved by the department and that is visible from all distances from fifty feet to three hundred feed to the rear when the reflector is directly in front of lawful upper beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle.
SAFETY AND CAUTION IS THE KEY, BOTH FOR BIKE RIDERS AND DRIVERS.
REMEMBER, WHEN AN ACCIDENT OCCURS, NO ONE WINS.
HAVE A HAPPY (AND SAFE) BIKE SAFETY MONTH!!