By Amy E. Feldman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – As the weather gets nicer and people spend more time on bikes, there are laws they must know – and obey.
A San Francisco man will face a trial for felony vehicular manslaughter after racing through two red lights before hitting and killing an elderly pedestrian. Sad, and surprising. Because the defendant wasn’t driving a car. He was riding a bicycle.
What most people don’t realize is that bicycle riders on public streets have the same rights and responsibilities as automobile drivers and are subject to the same rules and regulations as any other vehicle on the road.
Bicyclists must obey all traffic signals and stop signs, must ride in the same direction as other traffic, not against it, and must signal all their intentions to motorists and bicyclists near them. In some, but not all states, helmets are required, particularly for children who ride bikes and particularly for people who value their heads.
Remember that while you may be thinking of the environment when you choose to ride your bike rather than take your car, you should also be thinking about all those on the road with you.