The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition is joining Georgia Rides to the Capitol in March. On March 22nd, hundreds of cyclists will ride into town to promote cycling awareness and encourage legislators to support measures that enhance bicycling safety in Atlanta.
Currently, Atlanta is not among the most bicycle friendly cities in the U.S. and we have high accident rates. Drivers can be aggressive and resentful of sharing the road with the slower bicycles. Frequently, even the most well-intentioned drivers do not look for the smaller, less obtrusive modes of transport. Consequently cyclists are hit and seriously injured in intersections or run off the road.
Because riders are largely unprotected, these bicycle collisions often leave cyclists with destroyed equipment and nasty injuries, including brain injuries, broken bones and worse. In 2008, bicycle deaths accounted for 2% of all traffic fatalities in the United States. Injured cyclists can require short and long-term medical care, reconstructive surgery and help managing trauma.
According to O.C.G.A. § 40-6-294, cyclists have rules and rights on the road, just as cars do.
The full text of O.C.G.A. § 40-6-294 is as follows:
(a) As used in this Code section, the term “hazards to safe cycling” includes, but shall not be limited to, surface debris, rough pavement, drain grates which are parallel to the side of the roadway, parked or stopped vehicles, potentially opening car doors, or any other objects which threaten the safety of a person operating a bicycle.
(b) Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable, except when:
(1) Turning left;
(2) Avoiding hazards to safe cycling;
(3) The lane is too narrow to share safely with a motor vehicle;
(4) Traveling at the same speed as traffic;
(5) Exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction; or
(6) There is a right turn only lane and the person operating the bicycle is not turning right;
provided, however, that every person operating a bicycle away from the right side of the roadway shall exercise reasonable care and shall give due consideration to the other applicable rules of the road.
(c) Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on bicycle paths, bicycle lanes, parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles, or when a special event permit issued by a local governing authority permits riding more than two abreast.
(d) Whenever a usable bicycle path has been provided adjacent to a roadway and designated for the exclusive use of bicycle riders, then the appropriate governing authority may require that bicycle riders use such bicycle path and not use those sections of the roadway so specified by such local governing authority. The governing authority may be petitioned to remove restrictions upon demonstration that the bicycle path has become inadequate due to capacity, maintenance, or other causes.
(e) Bicycle paths subject to the provisions of subsection (d) of this Code section shall at a minimum be required to meet accepted guidelines, recommendations, and criteria with respect to planning, design, operation, and maintenance as set forth by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and such bicycle paths shall provide accessibility to destinations equivalent to the use of the roadway.
(f) Any person operating a bicycle in a bicycle lane shall ride in the same direction as traffic on the roadway.
(g) Electric assisted bicycles may be operated on bicycle paths.
While the Bike Coalition members appeal to congress to increase safety measures, attorney Robert J. Fleming will use laws already in place, such as O.C.G.A. § 40-6-294 to help cyclists and their families recover compensation for their injuries.
Robert J. Fleming has been handling biking accident cases, dental malpractice, bus accidents, car accident cases and premises injury cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 20 years. He practices in and around the Atlanta, Georgia area including handling lawsuits in Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Gwinnett, Cobb and other counties and nearby cities including Alpharetta, Austell, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, College Park, Conyers, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. If you have been seriously injured in a car accident and would like discuss your case, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.