Cycling around town is becoming more and more popular, for pleasure and sport, as well as a reliable mode of transportation. However, San Antonio, Texas is not known for being cyclist-friendly. People who choose to bicycle around the city know, for the most part, to cycle around at their own risk. Many San Antonio motorists are not used to having to share the road with bicyclists, and many drivers can be oblivious and negligent and even aggressive towards bicyclists.
According to local San Antonio laws, bicycles are considered a sort of vehicle, and they are prohibited from traveling on sidewalks. In fact, if a bicyclist is caught cycling down a sidewalk, he can be ticketed. Recently, the city of San Antonio passed a new law called the “safe passage” ordinance, which demands that motorists stay at least 3 feet away from cyclists when following or passing. When traveling on main thoroughfares, cyclists are legally required to have adequate lights and reflectors, especially when cycling at nighttime. Many cycling clubs require their members to wear helmets, which greatly reduce the amount and severity of brain injuries and fatalities associated with cyclist collisions.
Though San Antonio is not considered a cyclist friendly city, the motorists of San Antonio are still required to respect cyclists’ rights. If motorists are found to impede or intrude on cyclists while on our local roadways, motorists can be ticketed amounts up to hundreds of dollars. According to a July 21, 2013 article in the San Antonio Express-News, some drivers who have struck and injured San Antonio cyclists are facing charges ranging from “failure to stop and render aid” to “intoxication manslaughter.” These charges are no joke. Motorists are required to respect cyclists’ rights.
On the other hand, cyclists are required to abide by local laws and ordinances governing their behavior on our roadways, for their protection as well as the motorists with whom they share the road. The SA Express-News stated that cyclists are required to “obey all traffic laws, like stopping at red lights and stop signs, and use hand signals for stopping and turning,” just as if the cyclists were driving a motor vehicle. Everyone, motorists and cyclists alike, are required to share the road with one another and adhere to local traffic laws.
The rules of the road are changing. San Antonio, along with many other cities across the United States, is in a period of adjustment. Even local law enforcement officers are having to familiarize themselves with new local cyclist laws. For everyone, knowing and being familiar with the new laws can help to avoid injury and liability. If you are in the unfortunate situation of having already been in a wreck with a motorist or cyclist, you might need to contact an attorney who has extensive knowledge of personal injury and automobile cases.