South Carolina bicycle laws help to keep both bicyclists and drivers safe on the roads. Bicycle lanes have been provided along many roads so that bicyclists have a safe way of traveling. When there is a bicycle lane, motor vehicles on the road next to it are not permitted to block the lane in any way and must yield to a bicyclist if it is necessary to enter the bicycle lane. In addition, bicyclists must ride in the lane if it is provided and can only ride on the road in order to pass another bicyclist or avoid something that is blocking the bicycle lane. It is important to note that there is a difference between a formal bike lane and a recreational bicycle path; bicyclists can ride in the road if there is no bicycle lane, but there is a recreational path.
When a bicycle lane is not provided, bicyclists must ride as far to the right in the lane as possible. Bicyclists can even ride on the shoulder of the road, but they are not required to do so. If for some reason the right-most lane is blocked, bicyclists can ride in another lane. Bicyclists must also always be cautious when passing any vehicles on the roadway.
When riding on roads, bicyclists are not allowed to ride more than two abreast, unless they are on a bicycle path or in a bicycle lane. A bicyclist must also sit on the seat of the bicycle and may not carry other persons on his or her bicycle. If the bicyclist is found to be doing so, they could be fined up to $500. Also, bicyclists cannot attach themselves to a vehicle or carry anything with both hands while operating the bicycle.
At all times, bicyclists are required to use the proper hand signals when turning and stopping. Unlike motor vehicles, bicycles do not have turn signals, which is why it is especially dangerous when turning and why it is so important for bicyclists to use hand signals. For added safety, when riding a bicycle at night, the bicycle must have a light on the front that can be visible from at least 500 feet and have a red reflector on the rear that can be seen from 50 to 300 feet away.
Besides making sure that the bicyclist is a safe rider, South Carolina has laws to make sure that motor vehicles are safe drivers around bicycles. Motor vehicle drivers are required to drive at a safe distance from bicyclists. It is against the law to yell at or harass a person on a bicycle or throw anything in the direction of the bicyclist. If a person is found to have violated this law, they could be fined $250 or more or could be imprisoned for up to 30 days.
To look further into the South Carolina Bicycle Laws, click here for the full code of laws - Article 27. Bicyclists and Users of Play Vehicles; Rights and Duties.
Shelly Leeke Law Firm knows all too well how bicyclists can be severely injured in an accident. Hopefully, by being aware of South Carolina's bicycle laws, bicyclists and drivers of motor vehicles can share the road more safely and prevent devastating accidents from happening.
If you have been involved in a bicycle accident in South Carolina, contact attorney Shelly Leeke at 1-888-690-0211 to set up a free consultation. Call today!