NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Once the weather warms up, you can expect to see more cyclists sharing the road with cars and trucks.
Western Massachusetts has been adding more bike lanes to accommodate two-wheel commuters.
Both bicyclists and drivers have to follow the rules of the road.
Captain John Cartledge of the Northampton Police told 22News, “Certainly we want people to know that bicyclists have to abide by the same rules of the roads as motor vehicles, traffic lights, stop signs, turning using hand signals and stuff like this is very important.”
In Massachusetts, you may ride your bicycle on any public road, street, or bike way. You can also ride your bike in share-rows, which are lanes shared by cyclists and drivers.
In Massachusetts, you can also ride on sidewalks outside of business districts, but some cities, like Northampton, prohibit sidewalk riding.
Captain Cartledge told 22News that parked cars can pose just as much danger to cyclists as moving cars. When riding your bike along parked cars, it’s important to look out for opening doors that may suddenly cause a crash.
“When you’re riding on a road where there are cars parked on the side of the road, you need to kind of be looking to see if there’s anyone looking to get ready to get out of their car. If you’re riding close to the car and the driver doesn’t see you before they open the door that could be incredibly uncomfortable,” said Neal McClung, manager of the Northampton Bike Service.
Anyone 16 years old or younger must wear a helmet while riding a bike. Bicycle riders who violate the laws might have to pay a 20-dollar fine.