Rules of the road for drivers and bicyclists

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Collisions between bicycles and cars are on the rise in western Massachusetts.

According to MassDOT, one in four deadly accidents involves either pedestrians or bicyclists. The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration says a majority of bike-related accidents could be prevented if both bicyclists and drivers were following the rules of the road.

Keith Albright of Springfield told 22News, he doesn’t always see bicyclists following the law. “They’re either in traffic, or they have boundaries for the bikes, and they’re driving in the streets, doing wheelies, and all kinds of crazy stuff like that,” he said.

Kaitlyn Belisle disagrees, and thinks drivers are the ones who need to be more careful. “Drivers don’t follow the rules so much either. I don’t think it’s bicyclists as much as it’s drivers. I just don’t think they move enough to give them enough space on the road,” she said.

Under Massachusetts law, bicyclists are allowed to ride in the road just like drivers are, but they’re also required to follow the same rules. If they don’t, they too could get a ticket.

Chicopee Police Officer Mike Wilk told 22News, disturbing the flow of traffic is illegal, regardless of whether you’re a driver, bicyclist, or pedestrian. “If you’re just traveling, and you’re following the proper procedures, that’s perfectly fine. But if you’re intentionally weaving in and out, and causing traffic to be disrupted, that’s something we would look at,” he said.

State law requires bicyclists to use hand signals, give pedestrians the right of way, and only pass cars on the right.

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