Tuesday morning saw traffic stalled on I-15 near 400 South due to an auto-bicyclist accident. It appears that a biker was struck by a pickup truck in a crosswalk just off the 400 South off-ramp in Salt Lake City. The cyclist was transported to the hospital for examination, but it appears that he/she did not sustain serious injury. The accident delayed traffic for an hour or so, but by 8:45 AM had returned to normal.

Right to Bike

Though few details regarding the accident were known at the outset, the Utah Highway Patrol has since cited the driver of the pickup truck for failing to yield, making it apparent that the cyclist was fully within his rights. Recently bikers have seen themselves too much in the news, as hit-and-run accidents seemed to litter front pages this summer like a new fashion. On the other hand, drivers continue to complain that bikers choose to act as moving vehicles, which is consistent with Utah law, when it is convenient for them, yet when stop signs and red lights appear immediately move on to sidewalks and crosswalks. This time, though, it appears the cyclist, not the driver, was compliant with the law.

Since at the outset it appeared that the accident had occurred on a Utah highway, the following information, taken verbatim from the Utah Department of Transportation, will be useful in helping bikers know what their rights are while riding on the highway:

  • Bicycles are permitted on most state roads with the exception of portions of the interstate highway system, where alternate routes are available and where roads are closed to non-motorized travel (such as Bangerter Highway in the Salt Lake Valley).
  • Interstate highways open to cyclists should be used only by skilled cyclists confident of their abilities to maneuver under hazardous conditions. If you are not a skilled cyclist, please consider a route that does not include interstate highways due to our higher motorized traffic speeds (Interstates are posted at 65 mph to 75 mph throughout Utah) and a high volume of large truck traffic.

On Your Side

Though the battle for the road will continue to wage between cyclists and motorists, the ultimate goal should be to achieve mutual understanding and travel more safely. In the event that you involved in a cycling accident, however,we reserve the right to take a side, and it will be yours. The Utah Bicycle Attorneys at the Christensen Law Firm know and understand your legal needs as a cyclist. Give us a call at (801) 506-0800, and put us to the test.