It’s time to update the bicycling laws in Indiana
Indianapolis and surrounding counties are experiencing a surge of cyclists taking to the roads. Since 2011 bicycle accidents have increased by nearly 50% in Marion County according to the Indianapolis Star. Indianapolis and other urban cities throughout Indiana are installing bike lanes to make cyclists’ travels safer on major thoroughfares. But motor vehicle drivers and cyclists haven’t yet determined how they should share the road by navigating in a predictable way.
Superior Court Judge David Dreyer, whose court awarded settlements to two crash victims, believes the laws are confusing and untested. One Indiana law states that cyclists have all the rights and responsibilities of motor vehicles which imply bicyclists have the right to full use of the lane. Another law states that slow-moving vehicles should be as close as possible to the right hand curb. Nancy Tibbett, executive director of Bicycle Indiana, advises cyclists to use the right one-third of the lane but to not hug the curb because “if they’re close to the right, a motor vehicle will take the liberty to pass the bicyclist in the same lane, and often that could be entirely too close.”
WRTV has reported that in the early morning of July 15, 2014, a cyclist was killed in Hamilton County:
“Investigators said [the cyclist] had been riding south on Main Street when the left handlebar of his bike was struck by a passing car, causing him to lose control of the bike and crash.”
Bicycling in Urban Areas is on the Rise
Expect to see more and more cyclists taking to the road in busy downtown Indianapolis. This spring the city initiated its bike sharing program called Indiana Pacers Bikeshare as an alternative form of energy-saving transportation. Bike docking stations are situated in 25 different locations throughout downtown Indy. The bicycles can be rented for $8.00 per day or $80 per year.
Share the Road Campaign and Educational Information
The Indiana BMV, through the Indiana Bicycle Coalition, is making “Share the Road” license plates available in 2014 with the expectation that driver awareness will be increased. Read more about “Share the Road” license plates and tags here.
Bicycleindiana.org is the “go to” site for cyclists and drivers looking for information on state laws related to cycling, and Bike Smart literature that will educate and promote safe cycling in Indiana.
💡How Does a Pedestrian or Cyclist Receive Financial Compensation for Injuries Received in an Accident?
Personal Injury Attorneys
Drivers have a duty to exercise reasonable care anytime they are on the road. Attorneys, Charlie and Don Ward of Ward & Ward Law Firm have over 85 years of combined experience representing people who have been injured or killed in accidents involving motorcycles and bicycles. If you or someone you know has been injured or killed due to someone else’s negligence, give Charlie a call at 317-639-9501 for a free consultation.
Written by Charlie Ward
Ward & Ward Law Firm