Can cars and trucks safely share the roads with bicyclists?

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- The controversy over a road incident involving the mayor of Sunset Hills and a bicyclist has those who share the roads talking. Can cars and trucks safely share the pavement with bicyclists?

Bicyclists have the same rules, rights and responsibilities as motorists on state roads and state highways.

But they are not allowed to ride side by side if they impede traffic.

The problems seem to occur when the roads are narrow and motorists must slow well below the speed limit to avoid forcing the bicycle rider off the road.

One of the biggest complaints from drivers is bicyclists who roll through stop signs or even red lights.   That is against the law. Even at a red light that seems to be malfunctioning, bike riders must come to a complete stop and wait for a safe break in traffic before crossing.

When passing a bicycle, drivers must do it in a careful and prudent manner and leave a safe distance before moving back to the right. You can't cut them off, just as you can't cut off another car.   Passing unsafely is a traffic offense and if you strike the bicyclist you could wind up in jail.

Riders we spoke to say they are extremely cautious when riding in traffic.

Missouri law prohibits riding bicycles on sidewalks in business districts.

Bicyclists are not required to ride on the road shoulder. There could be debris or drop-offs in pavement that present dangers. It is up to motorists to watch out for the bicycles and yield to any bicyclists before crossing a bicycle lane.

The Missouri Bike Federation has prepared a list of state laws that cover motorists and bicyclists.




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