Are Indiana’s Laws Harming Cyclists?

Indianapolis has seen a great increase in bicycle accidents that lead many cyclists to suffer from serious injuries such as spinal and brain injuries and even death of the cyclist. The center of the state of Indiana has a number of bike trails that has helped increase the popularity of bicycles, but because of unclear laws regarding bicycles and road safety for cyclists, many have been left vulnerable to accidents and injuries and the increased number of bicycle mishaps.

The confusion caused by contradictory laws in the Indiana and in the city of Indianapolis is one of the major factors in the rise of the number of bicycle accidents. Under Indiana bike laws, any foot-propelled vehicle (regardless of the number wheels) are classified as bicycle. Laws pertaining on how and where these “bicycles” are to be operated are listed on Indiana Code § 9-12-11-1 to 9-12-11-11, along with giving cyclist the same privileges as those who drive motorized vehicles. Another newly-approved law states that bikes, mopeds, and motorcycles can run a red light when they have been stopped for two minutes. This is because majority of traffic signals are weight-triggered and therefore smaller vehicles may not be heavy enough to trigger them.

On the other hand, Indianapolis bike laws are simpler and straightforward. The emphasis is basically aimed towards pedestrians not using bike lanes unless specific signs are provided, and motorists giving right-of-way to cyclists when in a bike lane. The increase in bicycle accidents may have been due to the confusing laws and lack of education for cyclists who are using their bicycles to commute. Injury lawyers such as the Hankey Law Office also believe that reckless acts while driving or cycling also contributes greatly to road accidents. What makes awareness of cycling safety very important is because injuries that happen during accident often result to serious damages, so being aware of bike laws and riding with safety in mind are the basis for lower bike accidents and safer roads.

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