More on the Idaho Stop here.
The Burlington Police Department, a founding partner in the Safe Streets Collaborative, has been working with Local Motion for several years to educate bicyclists throughout the city about the rules of the road. A few weeks ago, the department made a decision to switch from education to enforcement. They have begun issuing tickets to bicyclists who don't ride by the rules. And the fees are hefty: from $70 for riding without lights to over $200 for going through a stop sign or red light!
Local Motion is working with the police to ensure that enforcement is focused on the most serious violations, such as bicyclists who fly through red lights and ride the wrong way on one-way streets. However, bike riders should be aware that -- as when you're driving a car -- a violation is a violation, and discretion is warranted.
Read on for some pointers on a few things you can do to avoid getting a ticket (not to mention help make our streets safer for everyone).
- Stop for stop signs and red lights
- Use a front white light and a rear red light from dusk until dawn
- Walk your bike on sidewalks in the core downtown area
- Ride with traffic on one-way streets and bike lanes
- Yield to pedestrians on sidewalks and in crosswalks
Local Motion is continuing our outreach efforts in collaboration with the police. We firmly support carefully targeted and fairly applied enforcement as an important tool for ensuring that bicyclists do their part to keep our streets safe. We are also strong advocates for enforcement of traffic laws for motorists, particularly the kinds of infractions -- such as speeding and running red lights -- that are especially dangerous for people on foot and on bike.
For more information about Local Motion's Safe Streets initiative, visit www.safestreetsVT.org. Many thanks to the Vermont Governor's Highway Safety program for their support for our safe streets work.