Now that the flowers are blossoming and potholes are being filled (slowly), bike riders are once again taking to the streets. Many bike riders are still confused as to their rights and duties. In New Jersey, “Every person riding a bicycle on a roadway is granted all the rights and subject to all of the duties of the motor vehicle driver.” N.J.S.A. 39:4-14.1. This means bicyclists must obey the same rules of the road as drivers do, including riding on the right side of the road, using turn signals, and obeying traffic signals / signs.
Are there other regulations specific to bicyclists?
Not surprisingly – yes. Bicyclists should ride as near to the right roadside as practicable. NJ law goes on to state “A bicyclist may move left under any of the following conditions: 1) To make a left turn from a left turn lane or pocket; 2) To avoid debris, drains, or other hazardous conditions on the right; 3) To pass a slower moving vehicle; 4) To occupy any available lane when traveling at the same speed as other traffic; 5) To travel no more than two abreast when traffic is not impeded, but otherwise ride in single file. Every person riding a bicycle shall ride in the same direction as vehicular traffic.” N.J.S.A. 39:4-14.2, 39:4-10.11.
Can you ride a bicycle on sidewalks?
New Jersey State law does not specifically prohibit bicyclists from riding on a sidewalk, BUT, some municipalities have passed ordinances that prohibit it. (There are exceptions for small children.)
Can you ride a bicycle on major roadways and highways?
While I’m not quite sure why someone would, you are NOT allowed to ride on the following roads:
Garden State Parkway
New Jersey Turnpike
Atlantic City Expressway
Route 1 Freeway Trenton (Mercer County)
Route 18 Freeway Wall (Ocean County, Neptune City, Tinton Falls, Colts Neck, Freehold,
and Marlboro, Monmouth County, Old Bridge, Middlesex County)
Route 29 Freeway (Trenton, Mercer County)
Route 52 Somers Point (Atlantic County, Ocean City, Cape May County)
Route 208 Freeway (Fair Lawn, Glen Rock, Franklin Lakes, Wyckoff and Oakland, Bergen
County, Hawthorne Borough, Passaic County)
Route 42 Freeway (Washington Township and Deptford, Gloucester County, Runnemede,
Gloucester Township and Bellmawr, Camden County)
Who pays your medical bills if you were struck by a car while riding my bike?
If you had automobile insurance at the time, your own insurance carrier is to provide payment for your medical treatment. This falls under “No-Fault” insurance, so it does not matter that your car was not involved in the incident in any way. If you did not own a vehicle at the time, but resided with relatives who owned a vehicle, you may be able to receive medical benefits under that relative’s policy. If you did not own a vehicle at the time and did not live with any relative who did, you can attempt to receive medical benefits under the automobile policy of the vehicle that struck you or through the New Jersey State fund, known as the New Jersey Property-Liability Insurance Guaranty Association (NJPLIGA). You must file a NJPLIGA claim with the Unsatisfied Claim and Judgment Fund rather quickly, as the law had a strict deadline.
Feel free to contact our office if you should have any questions. Happy riding!