Law requires cyclists obey same traffic laws as drivers

Myrtle Beach, SC - By A.J. Ross - bio | email

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Hundreds of people commute around the Grand Strand and Pee Dee on bicycles, but local law enforcement officers say a lot of people aren't aware that state law requires bicyclists to follow many of the same laws as motorists.

"They need to abide by the same traffic laws that the rest of the motoring public does and have the same sort of safety equipment that vehicles do," Myrtle Beach Police Capt. David Knipes explained.

State law cites bicycles are required to have a front head light that can be seen at least 500 feet away at night, as well as a rear light or reflector.

"A lot of bikers around here don't have headlights or tail lights, and that's a problem," said Joseph Chucky, who rides his bike to and from work every day. "A reflector is not enough to see them, especially out here on the boulevard, so they need to be ticketed. If you're on a bicycle without a light on your bike, you need to be ticketed."

A ticket isn't the only concern bicyclists have on the roadways. Without the proper safety gear, many drivers say it's hard to spot cyclists on the roads.

"Generally if a bicycle does not have the safety equipment - reflectors and headlight on the bike - and another car collides with it, the bicyclist could be at fault because of that lack of equipment," Knipes said.

However, Knipes points out there are many variables that must be considered in every accident as far as who is to blame. So he says the best practice is to share the road and be careful.

"It's a two-way street, you know. Vehicles need to obviously pay attention to the bikes and mopeds and vice versa," he said.

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