In most scenarios, bicycles are treated like motor vehicles in the state
of Maryland. Limited exceptions exist in some instances, like occasionally
being allowed to ride on a sidewalk. However, as far rules and regulations
go, a bike rider is held to the same standards as any other vehicle.
Bike safety is a two-way street, and vehicles need to ensure they are looking
out for bicyclists at all times. Given that a bicycle weighs a fraction
of a car, there is a greater likelihood of injuries when a cyclist is
in an accident with a motor vehicle.
Bicycles in Maryland are required to ride in the same direction as traffic. When a bicyclist
is riding on a sidewalk where permitted, or on a bike path, he or she
may ride into a crosswalk to continue on the intended path. Vehicles are
required to yield the right of way to a bicycle that is being operated
lawfully in a crosswalk at a signalized intersection.
If you are riding a bike and traveling slower than traffic, you should
stay on the right hand through lane and as close to the right side as
possible. You can only move left to pass a stopped or slow vehicle, to
avoid a hazard, or to make a left turn. Bicycles cannot ride on roads
where the maximum speed limit exceeds 50 mph, but a bicycle may use the
shoulder of these roads.
If there is a marked bicycle lane that is paved, you are required to use
the bike path and only ride on the roadway when:
- Overtaking another bicycle, pedestrian, or motor scooter in the bike lane,
if the maneuver cannot be safely completed in the bike lane;
- Preparing to make a left turn at an intersection or other spot like a driveway,
alley, or private road;
- There is debris or another hazardous condition; or
- It is necessary to leave the lane because it has a right-turn lane, merge,
or some other marking that breaks the bike lane’s continuity.
Vehicle Laws Related to Bicycles
Vehicles must treat bicycles the same as any other vehicle, which includes
yielding the right of way when required. Motorists must leave at least
three feet of space when passing a bicycle or motor scooter. Motorists
must yield to cyclists who are traveling in bike lanes and shoulders when
the driver is entering or crossing occupied shoulders or bike lanes.
Motorists cannot target bicycles or throw any object at or in their direction.
In addition, occupants of a vehicle are prohibited from opening the door
of a motor vehicle with the intent to injure or strike a bicyclist.
electric bikes are defined as bicycles with a motor that does not exceed more than 20
mph on flat surfaces. They must be designed to disengage at 20 mph and
have fully operational pedals. Currently, there is no special registration
required for electric bikes, but you must wear a helmet at all times.
Electric bikes are authorized on any roadway allowed by the Maryland Transportation
Authority, and all bikes must yield to roadway traffic and pedestrians.
Retaining a Maryland Personal Injury Accident
In the event that you have been injured in an accident, whether it was
on a bicycle or in a motor vehicle, it is important to retain a
Maryland accident attorney who can help ensure your rights are protected and you get the compensation
you deserve. Contact the Law Office of Robert. R. Castro today at (301)
870-1200 to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled attorneys.