Biking is a great way to get around town and to get exercise. Unfortunately, every year, countless people are injured when they are hit by drivers while biking on Boise and Nampa’s roadways. The Idaho Statesman recently reported on the tragic injuries sustained by a Boise 5-year-old boy when he was struck by a mini-van while riding his bike. Despite speed limit restrictions and a four-way stop with flashing red lights, the driver failed to stop and dragged the boy for several seconds even after he was struck.
Sadly, bike accidents are far too common. To make matters worse, drivers may not always show courtesy to bikers, and some bikers even experience road rage from drivers. Road rage is never acceptable and bikers who have been injured due to a driver’s malicious or angry actions have the right to seek justice. A personal injury lawyer in Boise or Nampa may be able to assist you if you’ve been struck by a negligent or criminally negligent driver.
According to the City of Boise State Police, drivers have certain responsibilities to bikers. Boise City Code 10-10-4 states that any driver overtaking or passing a biker or pedestrian on a roadway must leave a space of at least three feet between the car and the biker or pedestrian. Of course, if there is oncoming traffic that prevents drivers from doing this safely, drivers are required to slow down and wait until traffic calms before they pass the biker. Drivers are always required to maintain the three-foot gap. The law protects bikers from passing vehicles and places the burden of responsibility on drivers to protect bikers and pedestrians who are more vulnerable users of the roadway.
Boise city code 10-10-14 is also another important city code to understand. The code protects bikers from harassment. Any action on the part of a driver that could cause a biker to fall or get hurt is a misdemeanor crime. Additionally, any threat, either verbal or through action, that can result in injury to a pedestrian or biker is against the law. Drivers who throw things at bikers or pedestrians are also in violation of the city code. In general, in Boise, yelling, throwing things, or harassing a cyclist in any manner is against the law.
Finally, bikers should be aware that they are required, under Idaho state law, to follow the laws just like any other motor vehicle. However, there are some exceptions to these laws. For instance, bikers, when approaching a stop sign, are allowed to treat the stop as a yield. This doesn’t mean that a biker doesn’t have to stop. A biker must stop if they are legally required to do so. This just means that bikers can take a rolling stop so that they do not have to lose momentum if the way happens to be clear. Bikers who approach red traffic lights, must treat the light as a stop sign. If the way is clear, bikers are allowed to proceed.
While bikers are generally protected by the same laws as motorists, Idaho has special laws that protects bikers from harassment. If you or a loved one was injured in a bike accident, or experienced harassment while biking that resulted in injury, you may be entitled to receive compensation under the law. The Law Office of Johnson & Lundgreen are Boise Accident Attorneys who offer qualified counsel to victims.