KANSAS CITY, MO--(Marketwired - Aug 12, 2014) - Van Osdol & Magruder, PC is reminding cyclists the rules of the road. Both Kansas and Missouri have specific laws related to the operation of bicycles and cars on city streets. Although the laws are similar, they are not identical. For the most part, however, the following is generally true for both car and bike drivers.
Bob Beachy, chief strategic officer at Van Osdol & Magruder, said, "First off, both must follow the general laws regarding traffic for cars. In other words, everyone must obey speed limits, completely stop at signs and signals where indicated, signal turns and always drive or ride with (never against) traffic. Laws relating to vehicles overtaking a bicycle are the same as for overtaking a car, but cyclists can overtake stopped cars on the right side when at or approaching an intersection."
Each state has a variation on the Idaho Bicycle law or the "dead red" law as far as traffic signals operated by pressure plates or cameras. If a cyclist stops at such an intersection and the light does not change, then the cyclist may check for other traffic approaching the intersection and proceed when it is safe.
While cyclists are encouraged to generally keep to the right side of the traffic lane, they are entitled to the whole lane, always single file when other traffic is passing them. Otherwise, they may ride two abreast. Make sure to leave them plenty of room. For the most part, neither state prohibits riding bicycles on sidewalks, but many municipalities do.
For safety reasons bicycles operated one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise must be equipped with a front facing lamp and a rear facing red reflector. Helmet laws are specific to municipalities for the most part, but riders under the age of 15 (Kansas) or 17 (Missouri) must wear helmets.
Beachy said, "It is unlawful in both states for a motor vehicle driver to open a door of the vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so, and then only for so long as is necessary. Even though there are specific laws regarding bicycles, the laws of negligence and common sense always apply -- so share the road responsibly!"