Can you get pulled over on a bike? It seems like an odd question and you would think that the answer would be no. You rarely, if ever, see a cop flip on his lights and chase down a cyclist. It is hard to picture. But according to Utah state law, bicycles are road worthy vehicles and are required to obey all regular traffic laws. Technically you can be pulled over on a bike for the same reasons you would be pulled over in a car. With that being said, the enforcement and rules surrounding bike laws can be a little bit different.
With bikes becoming lighter and more streamlined, it is becoming easier to reach consistent high speeds. But overall, it is uncommon for a bike to exceed a posted speed limit and break the law. If you do, then you might be Superman. But it is possible to exceed the limit is in a school zone. During school hours, most school zones will have decreased speed limits for safety and it is much easier to go faster than legal. In fact, there was one case in Seattle where a man was pulled over and ticketed as he exceeded the school zone speed limit going down a hill.
Traffic Signs and Lights
Some state laws allow you to roll through a stop sign, such as in Idaho. But in Utah, if you see the word STOP, that is what you have to do. When you are on a bike, you are expected and required to stop at stop signs and red lights. This is for your safety. In Utah, we do have a 90 second rule, where if you come to a stop light and it doesn’t change after 90 seconds, you can proceed through the intersection with caution. Other than this exception, you should act like a vehicle. If you break these laws, it is possible that you could be pulled over.
It seems obvious. Don’t ride your bike when you’re drunk, but strangely it does happen. In this case, police officers are allowed to pull you over just as they would a car. But a Utah law states that, “A person operating a non-motorized bicycle or a vehicle or device propelled by human power is not subject to the penalties related to operator licenses under alcohol and drug-related traffic offenses.” In other words, you won’t get in as much trouble for riding your bike drunk.
It is important to know both the bicycle laws and traffic laws in your area. While it is illegal to speed, ignore traffic signs and ride your bike drunk, it will likely not be enforced as strictly as it is in a car. It is possible that you could be pulled over on a bike, but it is not likely. That being said, it is your responsibility to keep the road safe. Follow the traffic rules anyway and then you will never have to worry.
If you have been hurt in a bicycle accident, call us for a free consultation. We will work to get you the compensation you deserve.