Carmel Enacts Bicycle Road Safety Ordinance
Indiana establishes and meets goals of linking bicycle and pedestrian-friendly paths
The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) supports and encourages community development of bicycle and pedestrian facilities by removing barriers to pedestrian and bicycle travel. Their website states:
As alternate modes of travel, facilities for walking and/or bicycling are effective means of attaining social, environmental, land use and energy conservation goals.
In addition to the goals stated above, Indiana has demonstrated a commitment to strengthen the well-being of Hoosiers and environmental protection concerns by spending more than 2% of federal funds for the construction of thousands of miles of interconnected trails and bike lanes. But until recently, motorists and cyclists alike were in the dark when it came to navigating dedicated bicycle lanes and sharing the roads in an orderly and systematic way. Even today, in my experience as a Carmel Indiana bicycle accident lawyer, I have not seen the public service push to inform citizens and establish a safe state of co-existence between motorists and cyclists.
Carmel, Indiana – The Bicycle Friendly City
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) pedal cyclist deaths involving motorized vehicles have risen in recent years and account for 2.3 percent of all traffic fatalities. To reduce the number of deaths involving cyclists and motorists, the central Indiana city of Carmel, known as The Bicycle Friendly City, has taken the reins in adopting common-sense laws that regulate the systematic utilization of roads, bicycle lanes, and multi-use paths by and between motorists and non-motorists. As an experienced Carmel Indiana bicycle accident lawyer, I recommend motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists become familiar with Carmel’s ordinances. The complete Ordinance D-2137- 13 (as Amended) may be found here.
Motorized vehicle regulations on roadways
The following is an abbreviated overview of Sec. 8-40 of Ordinance D-2137- 13 (as Amended), pertaining to the operation of vehicles in roadways when bicycles are present. Regulations govern drivers and passengers of motor vehicles operating within the City’s corporate limits:
- Drivers of motor vehicles operating on any roadway must exercise due care to avoid a collision with a bicycle operator, including giving warning by sounding a horn and exercising all other precautions.
- The operator of a motorized vehicle shall not turn right in front of a bicycle until safely ahead or in the clear of the cyclist’s forward progress.
- A driver making a left turn must yield the right-of-way to an oncoming cyclist when failure to do so would cause a collision or evasive action to avoid a collision.
- When the driver of a motor vehicle is passing a bicycle traveling in the same direction, the driver of the motor vehicle must keep a distance of no less than 3 feet from the cyclist during the entire passing maneuver.
- No person shall open or leave open the door of a motor vehicle on a public roadway that would interfere with the forward progress of any vehicle on the roadway.
An abbreviated version of Section 8-41 of Ordinance D-2137- 13 (as Amended) addresses the operation of vehicles and bicycles within the city’s corporate limits in roadways with bicycle lanes:
- The driver of any motor vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to all persons operating bicycles on and within a bicycle lane.
- When traveling on a roadway that contains a designated bicycle lane, the driver of a motor vehicle shall enter the bicycle lane to make a right turn only after yielding to all cyclists in the bicycle lane and when doing so will not cause any cyclist to collide with the motor vehicle or necessitate the need to take evasive actions that impede the bicycles forward progress.
- Drivers of motorized vehicles may not drive, park or otherwise impede any designated bicycle lane except when safely entering or exiting a legal parking space and then only after yielding to all cyclists on or within said bicycle lane.
- No cyclist shall pass a motor vehicle stopped or standing in a travel lane on a public roadway unless the bicycle operator is in a designated bicycle lane.
When you need a Carmel, Indiana bicycle accident attorney
If you have been injured by the actions of a negligent driver, call the Carmel Indiana bicycle accident lawyer, Charlie Ward of Ward & Ward Law Firm. Our firm limits our practice of law to the representation of plaintiffs in personal injury and wrongful death claims. The attorneys at Ward & Ward Law Firm are up-to-date on the law and judicial opinions – factors that may affect your claim, your ability to file, and the amount of compensation you may receive. Call upon experience when you need a personal injury advocate. Call Charlie Ward today at (317) 639-9501.