Dangerous Roads for Bicyclists

Jonesboro, GA picture of traffic

The Clayton County, Georgia area is not very bike-friendly. Few of our roads and highways have dedicated bicycle lanes. This makes the town-area fairly unsafe for bike riders. To make matters worse, drivers of cars and trucks often do not understand the laws that protect bicycle riders, and drivers are the cause of many of these collisions.

In addition, injuries from accidents involving a car, or truck, and a bicycle are often more serious than other motor vehicle accidents because bikers are not as physically protected when a collision happens. This results in higher medical bills, longer time out of work, and in some cases, catastrophic permanent injuries.

Our Experience with Local Bike Accident Cases

Over the past 26 years attorney Bruce Millar and our law firm have handled many serious bicycle injury claims and cases including broken bones, traumatic head injuries and road rash. We are familiar with all State and local laws that may help you win your bicycle accident case.

Atlanta Area Bicycle Laws

Black and White Photo of Jonesboro, GA Downtown

We have provided, below, a summary of some of the laws that help define the rules of the road for both drivers and bicycle riders.

Jonesboro City Ordinances for Bicycles

City Bike Helmet Law. Jonesboro requires all children and child passengers on bikes under the age of 12 to wear a certified bicycle helmet. Jonesboro City Code, Sec. 74-177.

Riding bicycle on sidewalks on Main Street. Did you know that in the City of Jonesboro, Georgia it is unlawful to ride a bike on the sidewalk between the Methodist Church and Smith Street? Jonesboro City Code, Sec. 74-5.

Use of Recreational Paths. Clayton County authorizes people to ride bicycles on paved recreation paths and sidewalks. Sec. 94-156. Use of motorized street and trail bikes is not allowed on recreation paths. Sec. 94-157(a)(1).

Use of Helmets on Bicycle Paths. County Ordinance Sec. 94-158(a) requires all users of electric bikes to wear properly fitting and fastened helmets on recreational paths.

Bicycle. Clayton County local ordinances define “bicycle” as any device a person may ride powered by a human, having two tandem wheels when either wheel is more than 13 inches in diameter. Sec. 94-152.

Electric Bicycle. The County defines an “electric bicycle” (bike) as a device with either two or three wheels that has a saddle and pedals, but also has an electric motor. Sec. 94-152(a).

Moped. A Moped is defined in Clayton County as a motorized cycle with either two or three wheels (with or without pedals) and a motor with a maximum of two horsepower. Sec. 94-152(a).

Holding onto motor vehicles. Sec. 94-33 of the Clayton County ordinances prohibit any person from holding onto or catching a moving car or truck while riding inside of the County.

Georgia Bicycle Laws

Helmet Law. The State of Georgia requires all persons under the age of 16 to wear a helmet when riding a bike on a road, bike path, bike lane or sidewalk. O.C.G.A. 40-6-296(d)(2). This means that any person under 16 riding a bicycle on a road or bike lane of the City of Jonesboro, Georgia must wear a helmet.

Notably, the City of Jonesboro, Clayton County, and the State of Georgia, each, do not require persons over the age of 16 to wear a bicycle helmet.

Bike Paths – Drivers must yield. By law, drivers of cars and trucks are to yield the right of way to bicycle riders when the bike rider is in a bicycle lane. O.C.G.A. 40-6-55.

“Vehicle.” The State of Georgia considers a bicycle to be a legal vehicle. O.C.G.A. 40-1-1(6).

Bike Lane and Bike Path. A bike lane is defined as an area of a road that has been marked by stripes, pavement marking or signs for the use of bicycles. A bike path means a right of way set aside for the use of bicycles by the state or a local city or county. O.C.G.A. 40-1-1(6.2).

Safe Distance from Bicycles. The legal term “safe distance” means that when passing a bicycle rider going in the same direction on a road, a driver must leave at least three feet of distance to the bike and rider. O.C.G.A. 40-6-56(a) and (b).

Our Advice to You:

Bicycle accidents are not car accidents. When interviewing personal injury lawyers and law firms near you, ask lots of questions. Make sure your law firm has experience in handling Georgia bike accident cases and is familiar with local laws controlling the rules of the road for cars, trucks and bicycles. Hiring the wrong lawyer can be as devastating as the crash that injured you or your family member.