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Are bicycles allowed to ride in traffic?

As a bicyclist in the state of New Jersey, it is important to understand your rights. Furthermore, you need to know the law, as this ensures that you don't make any mistakes that could land you in hot water.

Here is one of the most important questions to answer: What are the rules in place to govern the use of bicycles in traffic?

In New Jersey, State Law 39:4-14.2 (Keeping to right; exceptions; single file) answers this question.

If you are operating a bicycle, you are expected to ride as near to the right side of the road as possible. Furthermore, you must exercise the necessary amount of care when passing a standing vehicle.

You are able to move to the left for the following:

-- To make a left turn

-- To avoid debris or anything else on the roadway that could be a hazard

-- To pass a vehicle that is moving slower

-- To occupy a lane if traffic is moving at the same rate of speed

When you take these points into consideration, you will know when it makes sense to travel on the road and when you are better off considering other options, such as the sidewalk.

There is nothing wrong with using a bicycle as your primary mode of transportation. Just make sure you understand the law, including when and how you are allowed to ride in traffic. This will ensure that you make all the right decisions, and never put yourself in position to be the person who causes an accident with a vehicle.

Source: NJ Bicycle and Pedestrian Center, "What’s the Law Anyway? A Quick Guide to New Jersey Bicycle and Pedestrian Laws (2012)," accessed Oct. 15, 2015

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