Yes cyclists have the right to be on the same roads as cars. Yes it is actually safer for cyclists to be on the road than on the sidewalks. So what about a cyclist coming to a red light and there is traffic stopped at a red light? Can the cyclist pull forward effectively passing the cars and positioning him/herself at the front of the line of stopped cars? Shakespeare once penned the lasting question of: “To be, or not to be: that is the question…” (Shakespeare, Hamlet Act III, Scene I).
Now we adapt it “To Pull Forward OR Not to Pull Forward: that is The Question.” I am sure many of you cyclists have done this or are doing this pretty regularly. I am sure many of you drivers out there have seen cyclists sneak by you and move to the front of the line of cars while you’re stopped at the intersection. Is it legal?
The short answer is most states is NO. Cyclists may not do legally do this. One such example is here in Arizona: A.R.S. 28-812 specifically grants all of the rights and duties of drivers to cyclists while on the roadway. In other words, cyclists must follow and obey the rules of the roadway as a motor vehicle would also be obligated to. If you were in your car you wouldn’t try to maneuver it around the long line of cars just to get to the front of them while they are all stopped at the red light. Likewise a cyclist may not do that either. Instead the cyclist is obligated to pull behind the last car in his/her lane and wait for the light in turn like all the vehicles on the road. One obvious exception is when a cyclist is in a designated bike lane, then the cyclist may proceed forward.
Then why do so many cyclists just pull forward even though it is technically illegal? The answer is more simple than you might think. Although technically illegal, many cyclists feel it is much safer to pull forward around the cars and stop at the red light just in front of them so they can be certain the vehicles see them. Other cyclists do it because they mistakenly think it is legal. For most scenarios, it is actually a bit scary to stay in the lane of traffic at a red light, because as a cyclist you are not sure that the cars always see you in this spot as they are pulling up behind you. Also, it is actually much slower for the vehicles to have to navigate around the cyclists when they are in the lane of traffic stopped behind a line of cars when the light turns green. There have been many instances of cyclists getting side swiped by inattentive drivers in this exact scenario. When cyclists pull forward along the right hand side of the road and go to the front they can often ditch out to the side shoulder area in many intersections and be out of the way of vehicles all together.
Regardless of the reason it is technically not legal, and furthermore this sort of cycling behavior can unintentionally inflame the negative attitude of drivers towards cyclists. Unless there is a real blatant safety concern then cyclists must not pull forward around and ahead of stopped cars at a red light.
Let’s all be safe out there. Safety is everyone’s responsibility.
We are here for you. We got your back. We protect our own like you’re a member of our tribe.
Ben Dodge, Esq., Endurance/Ultra Cyclist
Bicycle crash and bicycle accident lawyer Ben Dodge
A bicycle crash is not always an accident. If you, or someone you know has been injured in a bicycle crash or accident caused by a road hazard or dangerous road condition, hire a personal injury attorney who is experienced and has a successful track record. Ben Dodge, a licensed bicycle accident lawyer in Arizona, has dedicated his entire firm to one purpose: representing cyclists. Bicycle accident cases are the only cases Bike Accident Attorneys, PLC handles. Home based out of the great state of Arizona, Ben can still help cyclists in the entire United States. Ben also founded Bike Accident Attorneys Network, a national network of attorneys who focus on representing cyclists. He can find you help anywhere in the country.
Ben Dodge has represented and assisted bicycle accident victims across the entire United States. As an avid and competitive cyclist himself, Mr. Dodge currently participates in national and local cycling events all over the world. It isn’t uncommon to spot him in early morning hours out riding his bike. Having competed in 8 Ironman triathlons, numerous local and national cycling races, and a successful finish in the Race Across the West 2016, he really knows what it’s like to ride and race a bike. Ben competed in the first ever Race Across France – 2018. This was a non stop 1500+ mile race across the entire country of France. He and his teammate finished 3rd. He is registered for a 2 man Race Across America (RAAM) team as well in 2019.
The day he fell in love with his job was the day he devoted himself completely to bicycle accident cases. Ben represents cyclists injured in bicycle accidents, at the police station, with insurance companies, and in the courts. He advocates for the rights of all cyclists, not just his clients. He teaches police about bike laws and bike safety, he educates drivers about the rules of the road, and he trains cyclists and clubs to ride more safely.
A consultation with experienced Arizona bicycle accident attorney Ben Dodge is free
In recent years there has been approximately 700 bicycle fatalities in the United States every single year. Approximately 2,000 bicycle accidents are reported in Arizona every year. Approximately 30 fatal bicycle accidents are reported in Arizona every year. Bicycle fatalities are terrible and horrific tragedies that affect the lives of too many families and friends to count. Understanding your rights and obligations as a cyclist can bring clarity to your specific accident situation. It will always be in your best interest to be represented by an attorney who knows the bicycle laws and has a successful track record of winning bicycle accident cases. The negotiation tactics and strategies of winning a case are extremely important, but should always take a back row seat to the litigation experience and knowledge of court room rules, local, state, and federal rules of civil procedure that can have significant impact on your bicycle accident case. It is wise to be represented by someone well versed in bicycle accident law, local and state bicycle ordinances, rules, regulations, policies, and laws. You should hire someone very familiar with negligence and tort law, civil procedure, and the rules of evidence as they all relate specifically to bicycle accident cases.
Ben Dodge always offers a complimentary in person consultation to all local cyclists and a complimentary phone consultation to any cyclist injured in a bike accident. Typically the consultations are schedule from 30-60 minutes depending on the severity of the accident. You can expect to get answers to questions, clarity, information, and reassurance of your personal bike accident liability and potential for recovery. In your free consultation you can generally expect to discuss such topics as:
- Your specific bike accident details, diagrams, and pictures from your perspective and then from the perspective of your bike accident attorney.
- The applicable local, state, and federal laws underlying your case.
- Your rights as a cyclist, obligations, and any potential liability.
- The process, procedure (in and out of court), and the time frame required to conclude your case.
- The value of your case and what you might expect as compensation.
You can call Arizona bicycle lawyer Ben Dodge of Bike Accident Attorneys, PLC at 1.855.663.3922. Mr. Dodge’s staff is standing and ready to accept your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every single day of the year. Ben will personally return your call within 24 hours. There is never an obligation past a complimentary consultation with Mr. Dodge. His passion is in representing cyclists and his entire office stands ready to serve with kindness and patience.
Bike Accident Attorneys, PLC
Call Ben Dodge, the Bicycle Lawyer today at 1.855.663.3922. Reach him by fax at 1.800.958.8902.
Mr. Dodge can also be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
His main Arizona offices are located at:
Mesa Arizona (home base office)
4824 E. Baseline Rd., Suite 124
Mesa, Arizona 85206
Phoenix Arizona office
2415 e. Camelback Rd., suite 700
Phoenix, Arizona 85016
Tucson Arizona office
One South Church Avenue, 12th Floor
Tucson, Arizona 85701
Mr. Dodge represents cyclists in the entire state of Arizona including but not limited to Mesa, Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma, Gilbert, Peoria, Glendale, Scottsdale, Ahwatukee, Tempe, Chandler, Prescott, Sedona, Flagstaff, Surprise, Kingman, Page, Lake Havasu City, Payson, Goodyear, Buckeye, Queen Creek, Paradise Valley, Show Low, Winslow, Maricopa, Nogales, Globe, Avondale, Cave Creek, Fountain Hills, Apache Junction, Carefree, Wickenburg, Pinetop-Lakeside, Strawberry, Anthem, Safford, and more. Ben Dodge is currently involved with bicycle accident cases all over the country and has founded BikeAccidentAttorneys.com a National Network of independent and incredible bicycle lawyers that can assist in representation in all 50 states.