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Learning how to ride a bike encompasses only half the battle. The other half is knowing the laws and proper safety measures.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, by law, bikes on the road have the same rights and responsibilities as cars. The Official Code of Georgia goes into detail and lists a number of laws regarding bicycling. It might be helpful to know some of these regulations.
- You must signal your turns with the appropriate gestures.
- No one can ride on the handlebars (you can’t carry more people than what your bike is equipped to carry).
- If you’re in a bike lane, you have to ride in the same direction as the traffic on the road.
- Electric assisted bikes may use the bike path (definition of an electric bike).
- When riding a bike at night, you need to have a white light in the front (visible for at least 300 feet) and a red light in the back (visible for at least 300 feet). If you have red reflectors on the back of your bike that have been approved by the Department of Public Safety, you don’t need to have the red light in the back.
- If you're under 16, you must wear a helmet when riding or being a passenger on a highway, bike path or bike lane
These laws constantly change, so it might be useful to review the rules every now and then. The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety also provides a handy Bike Safety Checklist to make sure you’re as safe as possible.
On October 18-20 the Georgia Bikes organization will hold a Georgia Bike Summit. Elected leaders and transportation officials (such as those from the Georgia Department of Transportation) will be there to talk about biking in Georgia and how to make Georgia a more bike friendly state.
About the Author
Bethany McDaniel is a content specialist for GeorgiaGov. She graduated from Berry College in Rome, GA with degrees in Visual Communication and History.