WE ARE ATTORNEYS AND WE ARE RIDERS
WE REPRESENT ARIZONA CYCLISTS
Ben Dodge is an 8 time Ironman competitor and extreme endurance cyclist. Racing locally, nationally, and internationally- Ben has seen much of the World’s highways and America’s roadways via his bicycle. In June of 2016 Ben was one of 9 finishers in the awesome 930.4 non stop bicycle race across the west (the Race Across the West). Finishing in approximately 86 hours he rode his bicycle non stop from Oceanside CA, to Durango, Co. This incredible experience has qualified him for the full 3,034 mile non stop race across America (the Race Across America). He has qualified to race RAAM as a soloist and plans to do so in 2020. Ben also raced in the first ever Race Across France in 2018. It is a 1500+ mile non stop bicycle race. It is the French version of RAAM. He and his teammate raced a two man team and finished in 3rd place.In June of 2019 Ben Dodge and a teammate finished 2nd place overall in the world's toughest bicycle race, the Race Across America. They competed as a 2 man team and finished as the top U.S. team and in 2nd place overall in spite of incredible difficulties including struggling with several days of non stop bleeding from pneumonia and bronchitis. They completed the 3,070 mile non stop race from Oceanside Ca, to Annapolis MD in 7 days and 15 hours. Ben literally knows what it is like to ride and race a bicycle. Ben also founded a national racing team to bring more cycling awareness to the streets. Competitive cyclists from across the country all license up and race under the Bike Accident Attorneys team in bright neon gear. It is hard to miss them! Every time a teammate rides in the team kits they bring more awareness to motorists about the presence of cyclists. In addition to his ultra cycling, Ben is a certified NITA Trial Advocate with advanced training and experience in high stakes court room litigation skill and techniques. He has litigated countless bike crash cases and is a regular in the court room. Ben has been protecting cyclists since 2006 and has recovered millions for his clients in settlement and jury awards. He made the decision in January of 2013 to take his personal injury experience and dedicate it solely to bicycle accident victims. He founded an entire law firm with one purpose: Representing Cyclists. His firm and this national network exists to aggressively and effectively represent injured cyclists in and throughout the United States. Headquartered in Arizona (great cycling weather all year long!), Ben affiliates with attorneys nationally to insure that cyclists across the U.S. have access to his knowledge and experience. With a firm entirely dedicated and focused on protecting the rights of cyclists and bicycle accident victims, Ben has turned his job into his passion.
Ben Dodge participates in local bicycle advocacy here in Arizona and national bicycle advocacy work in Washington D.C. Through his work and support many safer cycling laws have been passed to help protect cyclists. In addition to his advocacy work, Mr. Dodge is a well known speaker to cycling clubs throughout North and South America. He loves spending his time motivating and speaking about his cycling adventures.
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ARIZONA BICYCLE ACCIDENT STATISTICS
Percentage of Total Traffic Fatalities
Pedalcyclist Fatalities per Million Population
ARIZONA BICYCLE STATUTES
Chapter 1. Definitions and Penalties / Article 1. Definitions
6. "Bicycle" means a device, including a racing wheelchair, that is propelled by human power and on which a person may ride and that has either: (a) Two tandem wheels, either of which is more than sixteen inches in diameter. (b) Three wheels in contact with the ground, any of which is more than sixteen inches in diameter.
30. "Moped" means a bicycle that is equipped with a helper motor if the vehicle has a maximum piston displacement of fifty cubic centimeters or less, a brake horsepower of one and one-half or less and a maximum speed of twenty-five miles per hour or less on a flat surface with less than a one per cent grade.
31. "Motor driven cycle" means a motorcycle, including every motor scooter, with a motor that produces not more than five horsepower. 32. "Motor vehicle": (a) Means either: (i) A self-propelled vehicle. [Nota Bene: bicycles are NOT motor vehicles by definition]
56. "Vehicle" means a device in, on or by which a person or property is or may be transported or drawn on a public highway, excluding devices moved by human power... [bicycles are not defined to be a vehicle, but see 28-812]
Chapter 3/Article 1 - Definitions
21. "Roadway" means that portion of a highway that is improved, designed or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the berm or shoulder....[Note that the roadway does not include the shoulder. Also see: Is a bike lane part of the roadway?]
Article 2- Obedience to and Effect of Traffic Laws
§28-626. Uniform application of laws throughout state; local ordinances or regulations
A. The provisions of this chapter and chapters 4 and 5 of this title are applicable and uniform throughout this state and in all political subdivisions in this state.
B. A local authority:
1. Shall not enact or enforce an ordinance or regulation in conflict with this chapter or chapter 4 or 5 of this title unless expressly authorized by this chapter or chapter 4 or 5 of this title.
2. May adopt additional traffic regulations that are not in conflict with this chapter or chapter 4 or 5 of this title...
[this is a generally good provision: cities may not make contradictory law, but they may go "above and beyond" so long as it's consistent]
§28-627. Powers of local authorities; definition
A. This chapter and chapters 4 and 5 of this title do not prohibit a local authority, with respect to streets and highways under its jurisdiction and within the reasonable exercise of the police power, from:
8. Regulating the operation [this is bad news simply because it can lead to inconsistent laws from city-to-city] of bicycles and requiring the registration and licensing of bicycles, including the requirement of a registration fee.
Article 3 - Traffic Signs, Signals and Markings
§28-645. Traffic control signal legend
C. The driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection that has an official traffic control signal that is inoperative shall bring the vehicle to a complete stop before entering the intersection and may proceed with caution only when it is safe to do so. ... [Signals which do not change are inoperative]
Article 6 - Speed Restrictions
§28-701. Reasonable and prudent speed; prima facie evidence; exceptions
A. A person shall not drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent...[This is Arizona's "Basic Speed Law". It applies to bicyclists as well as motorists.]
E. A person shall not drive a motor vehicle at a speed that is less than the speed that is reasonable and prudent...[Note that ARS establishes no minimum speed for bicyclists]
§28-704. Minimum speed limits; requirement to turn off roadway
A. A person shall not drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.
B. ... authorities ... may determine and declare a minimum speed limit below which a person shall not drive a vehicle... [This grants, but does not establish, the authority to set a minimum. Bicyclists would then be bound to the minimum where established. However, it has been suggested that this may be one of the provisions that "by their nature" would not apply]
C. If a person is driving a vehicle at a speed less than the normal flow of traffic at the particular time and place on a two-lane highway where passing is unsafe, and if five or more vehicles are formed in a line behind the vehicle, the person shall turn the vehicle off the roadway at the nearest place designated as a turnout by signs erected by the director or a local authority, or wherever sufficient area for a safe turnout exists, in order to permit the vehicles following to proceed.
Article 7. Driving on the Right Side of the Roadway, Overtaking, and Passing
§28-721. Driving on right side of roadway; exceptions
B. On all roadways, a person driving a vehicle proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall drive the vehicle in the right-hand lane then available for traffic or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction or when preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway. [This is the generic slow moving vehicle rule. It applies to bicyclists, so for example when proceeding straight along a multi-narrow laned road at a slow speed, a bicyclist must use the right-most through lane, unless passing another vehicle]
§28-730. Following too closely
A. The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent...[Cyclists are exempted from following too closely altogether, whether it be another bicycle, or anything else. Motorists, however, must follow a bicycle at a "resonable and prudent" distance]
§28-733. Restrictions on use of controlled access highway
A. The director may, and local authorities by ordinance may, prohibit the use ... by pedestrians, bicycles or other nonmotorized traffic...
§28-735. Overtaking bicycles; civil penalties[this entire section was added with the "3-foot passing" legislation of 2000, see HB2625 of the 44th legislature 2nd regular session]
A. When overtaking and passing a bicycle proceeding in the same direction, a person driving a motor vehicle shall exercise due care by leaving a safe distance between the motor vehicle and the bicycle of not less than three feet until the motor vehicle is safely past the overtaken bicycle.
B. If a person violates this section and the violation results in a collision causing:
- Serious physical injury as defined in section 13-105 to another person, the violater is subject to a civil penalty of up to five hundred dollars.
- Death to another person, the violater is subject to a civil penalty of up to one thousand dollars.
C. Subsection B of this section does not apply to a bicyclist who is injured in a vehicular traffic lane when a designated bicycle lane or path is present and passable
Article 8. Turning, Starting and Signals on Stopping and Turning
§28-756. Method of giving hand and arm signals
A. Except as provided by subsection B, a person shall give all hand and arm signals required by this article from the left side of the vehicle in the following manner, and the signals shall indicate as follows:
- Left turn. Hand and arm extended horizontally.
- Right turn. Hand and arm extended upward.
- Stop or decrease speed. Hand and arm extended downward.
B. A person operating a bicycle may give a right turn signal by extending the right hand and arm horizontally and to the right side of the bicycle.
Article 11. Operation of Bicycles
§28-811. Parent and guardian responsibility; applicability of article
A. The parent of a child and the guardian of a ward shall not authorize or knowingly permit the child or ward to violate this chapter.
B. Except as otherwise provided in this article, this chapter applies to a bicycle when it is operated on a highway or on a path set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.
§28-812. Applicability of traffic laws to bicycle riders
A person riding a bicycle on a roadway or on a shoulder adjoining a roadway is granted all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this chapter and chapters 4 and 5 of this title, except special rules in this article and except provisions of this chapter and chapters 4 and 5 of this title that by their nature can have no application.
§28-813. Riding on bicycles
A. A person propelling a bicycle shall not ride other than upon or astride a permanent and regular seat attached to the bicycle.
B. A person shall not use a bicycle to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped.
§28-814. Clinging to vehicle
A person riding on a bicycle, coaster, sled or toy vehicle or on roller skates shall not attach the bicycle, coaster, sled, toy vehicle or roller skates or that person to a vehicle on a roadway.
§28-815. Riding on roadways and bicycle paths; prohibition of motor vehicle traffic on bike paths
A. A person riding a bicycle on a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except under any of the following situations:
- If overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
- If preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
- If reasonably necessary to avoid conditions, including fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals or surface hazards.
- If the lane in which the person is operating the bicycle is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.
B. Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadway set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.
C. A path or lane that is designated as a bicycle path or lane by state or local authorities is for the exclusive use of bicycles even though other uses are permitted pursuant to subsection D or are otherwise permitted by state or local authorities.
D. A person shall not operate, stop, park or leave standing a vehicle in a path or lane designated as a bicycle path or lane by a state or local authority except in the case of emergency or for crossing the path or lane to gain access to a public or private road or driveway.
E. Subsection D does not prohibit the use of the path or lane by the appropriate local authority.
§28-816. Carrying article on bicycles
A person shall not carry a package, bundle or article while operating a bicycle if the package, bundle or article prevents the driver from keeping at least one hand on the handlebars.
§28-817. Bicycle equipment
A. A bicycle that is used at nighttime [ "the period between sunset and sunrise" -- §1-215 ] shall have a lamp on the front that emits a white light visible from a distance of at least five hundred feet to the front and a red reflector on the rear of a type that is approved by the department and that is visible from all distances from fifty feet to three hundred feet to the rear when the reflector is directly in front of lawful upper beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle. A bicycle may have a lamp that emits a red light visible from a distance of five hundred feet to the rear in addition to the red reflector.
B. A person shall not operate a bicycle that is equipped with a siren or whistle.
C. A bicycle shall be equipped with a brake that enables the operator to make the braked wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement
§28-818. Bicycle safety fund
A. A bicycle safety fund is established. The department shall administer the fund....
Article 15. Miscellaneous
§28-904. Driving on sidewalk
A. A person shall not drive a vehicle on a sidewalk area except on a permanent or duly authorized temporary driveway. [inapplicable to bicyclists since the sidewalk is not "on a roadway or on a shoulder" , see §28-812]
§28-905. Opening vehicle door
A person shall not open a door on a motor vehicle unless it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic... ["dooring"]
Article 16. Equipment
§28-954. Horns and warning devices
A. A motor vehicle when operated on a highway shall be equipped with a horn...[Only motor vehicles are required to have a horn; ARS does not require bicycles to have an audible warning device]
B. If reasonably necessary to ensure the safe operation of a motor vehicle, the driver shall give an audible warning with the driver's horn but shall not otherwise use the horn when on a highway. [Special note to horn honkers]
§28-947. Special restrictions on lamps
D. A vehicle may have lamps that may be used to warn the operators of other vehicles of the presence of a vehicular traffic hazard requiring the exercise of unusual care in approaching, overtaking or passing. The vehicle may display these lamps as a warning in addition to any other warning signals required by this article. The lamps used to display the warning to the front shall be mounted at the same level and as widely spaced laterally as practicable and shall display simultaneously flashing white or amber lights or any shade of color between white and amber. The lamps used to display the warning to the rear shall be mounted at the same level and as widely spaced laterally as practicable and shall show simultaneously flashing amber or red lights or any shade of color between amber and red. These warning lights shall be visible from a distance of at least one thousand five hundred feet under normal atmospheric conditions at night. [To summarize, Arizona allows optional flashing lights (some state do not allow flashing lights). Front flasher color must be amber or white. Rear flasher must be amber or red. Again, these are optional, for bicycle lighting requirements, see 28-817]
LATEST FROM THE BLOG
Unfortunately 1 year ago I was in a very bad bicycle accident and also took out some of my fellow riders. Fortunately though Ben from Bike Accident Attorneys was on that same bike ride and what a blessing that was for me and those that were also involved. Him and his staff were amazing and so helpful with everything. He was a tremendous help and the greatest thing was not only was I represented professionally, but I gained a close friend and riding teammate. Thank you Ben and to your wonderful staff!Kristi R.
I was referred to Ben and his firm when I was hit by a car. Before I hired him as my attorney, Ben spent an enormous amount of time with me both answering my questions, as well as making sure I was comfortable with the process, timelines, and possible outcomes. Throughout the case I was given timely status reports and updates on the discussions from both sides. Not only was the service provided top notch, but Ben himself is a pleasure to work with. If this is ever something you find yourself in need of, there is no better place to go than BAA.Brian S.
Bike Accident Attorneys is a fantastic law firm dedicated to cyclists! Ben Dodge will go above and beyond to make sure everything you need is taken care of. He is one of the kindest and most honest people I've ever had the honor of knowing. In addition he is a cyclist just like us and knows our mindset and needs. I highly recommend contacting Ben before you do anything else if you are in the unfortunate circumstance of needing help if something happens to you on a ride.Charles B.