Bicyclists' Bill of Rights

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Saturday, November 19, 2005
By Yokota Fritz

In 1989, Tom Frost, Jr. wrote the Bicyclists' Rights Triad, a one-page list of statements consisting of a Bicyclist's Code of Ethics, Motorist's Code of Ethics Regarding Bicycles, and Bicyclist's Bill of Rights and Duties. He has since modified the Triad into its current form. Tom continues to receive commentary and suggestions to improve this Bicyclists' Rights Triad. If you would like to provid your input, he invites people to join the "Bicyclists' Bill of Rights and Duties" discussion group. Note that the core value for this discussion group is that bicycles are vehicles and cyclists have same rights and duties as any other vehicle operator.

  • CYCLISTS SHALL ride in the same direction as the other vehicles on their side of the road.
  • CYCLISTS SHALL obey traffic laws, including waiting at red lights at all times regardless of convenience.
  • CYCLISTS SHALL not move sideways without first seeing that there's no overtaking traffic that will be surprised. If you use a rear-view mirror, remember it is not a substitute for knowing when to turn your head.
  • CYCLISTS SHALL at night, use at least a headlight and rear reflector. A taillight is recommended in addition, but there are no substitutes for a headlight and rear reflector.
  • CYCLISTS SHALL note that the above items are a partial list, to correct just the more common errors. When in doubt, ask, "What would I do if I were driving any other vehicle?"
  • MOTORISTS SHALL scan the roads for all potential objects, not just big ones such as cars.
  • MOTORISTS SHALL when entering a road, guard against underestimating the speed of a bicycle.
  • MOTORISTS SHALL not automatically overtake in the same lane just because the vehicle they want to overtake is a bicycle. Cyclists are very often able to share their space with you as a courtesy, but this shall not be abused.
  • MOTORISTS SHALL save their horn for emergencies and rural greetings. If they have something to say about a cyclist's driving, there are ways to say it other than by road rage.
  • MOTORISTS SHALL note that the above items are a partial list, to correct just the more common errors. When in doubt, ask, "What would I do if I were interacting with any other vehicle?”
  • A bicycle is a vehicle. Therefore, a bicyclist has the same rights and duties as any other vehicle operator.

    IMPORTANT: Please post comments for this article at the new CYCLELICIOUS 2.0 version of this page.
I am a motorist, I have no problem sharing the road with law abiding bicyclist's, but their is many, many, many, many bicyclists that think it is ok to pass a stop sign. Me as a law abiding motorist have came close to running over several bicyclist who fail to stop at stop signs. Then i get cursed at by the bicyclist when it was not even my fault. I really don't think that is fair. Please stop at stop signs. PLEASE!!! For your own safety. It is the LAW.
Thanks for the reminder. Happy holidays to you and yours.
Personally I think bicyclist should not have the same rights as a motorist. I have been a volunteer firefighter for the last 8 years. I have seen what a motor vehicle can do to a person. As long as we let bicyclist share the roads instead of using walking paths and riding trails, we will continue to have fatalities.
Firefighter, honest question for you: How many motorists have you pulled from a vehicle after a bad crash? How many of them were the result of bad driving?
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