Bicycles, cyclists and cars: Do we know how to share the road and drive safely?
Every time a cyclist dies due to a traffic accident the security of this group returns to the media spotlight and the campaigns for consciousness-raising are reactivated. And despite a great deal of progress has been made on this matter, we are still far from achieve the goal of 0 accidents, 0 victims.
According to a road safety survey by the Centro de Estudios Ponle Freno-AXA, 51% of Spanish drivers admit that they don’t respect the security distance when overtaking cyclist, and 30 % of cyclists confess that they have never read up on the regulation.
At Cambrils Park Sport Village we welcome every year thousands of professional and amateur cyclists. Their safety is essential to us, for that reason, we draw the key points from the current regulation which is the 2004 General Traffic Law (RD1428/ 2003).
51% of Spanish drivers admit that they don’t respect the security distance when overtaking cyclist, and 30 % of cyclists confess that they have never read up on the regulation.
Where should bicycles ride?
- In urban roads (inside towns), cyclists must use the cycle lanes. If there isn’t any cycle path, they must travel along the same places and under the same conditions as any other vehicle.
- In intercity roads, (outside towns), cyclists must travel along the hard shoulder. If the road doesn’t have a shoulder, they can use the indispensable part of the edge of the road.
- It is prohibited the circulation of cyclists in motorways, however they can travel through carriageways, on the condition that they travel along the shoulder and only if the cyclist is older than 14 years old. However, the DGT (Directorate-General for Traffic) recommends avoiding them when possible due to the high speed that vehicles can reach.
How to overtake a cyclist?
- Cars can take up part or all the oncoming lane to overtake cyclist, even when overtaking is forbidden, provided that the manoeuvre can be carried out safely.
- Cars must keep a safe lateral passing distance of cyclists of minimum 1,5 metres.
- In intercity roads with one traffic lane for each direction (single carriageway), cars can’t overtake other vehicles if there is a cyclist riding in the oncoming traffic, even if the cyclist is doing so on the hard shoulder.
- In general, it is forbidden to overtake a cyclist if the manoeuvre can put in risk or hinder the cyclist whether is riding in the same direction or in the oncoming as the vehicle willing to overtake.
- In roundabouts, a group of cyclists is considered a unit. In other words, once the first biker enters the roundabout, the driver must yield to all the group and wait until the last one crosses.
Can cyclist ride abreast or in groups?
- Cyclist can ride abreast, on the condition that they do it as close to the right side of the road as possible. Nonetheless, when visibility is not good or there is a great deal of traffic, cyclist must ride single files.
- In dual carriageways, cyclists can ride in groups along the hard shoulder but without entering the road under any circumstance.
- Cyclists can ride in groups, in which case they are considered a unit for giving way purposes. Be aware at roundabouts and road junctions with give way and stop signs. Once the first one enters, the rest also enters.
What safety measures must a cyclist follow on the road?
- The use of helmet is mandatory for all riders in all intercity roads. In urban roads its use is mandatory for under 16 years old being the riders or not. For adults over the age of 16 it is not mandatory, although the DGT recommends wearing it.
- It is mandatory for cyclist, on the road and in urban areas, to use a steady front lamp and a rear reflector, as well as wearing reflective clothing when riding in the night.
- In general, cyclist must be visible at 150 metres and keep on the bicycle’s rear reflectors not only during the night but also under the same conditions as a car is required to use the lights. The cyclist must also have a front light, rear reflectors and reflective clothing.
Are cyclists governed by the same traffic rules as the rest of the vehicles?
Cyclists, like other drivers, must follow the rules stipulated in the road safety regulation. In this sense, it is necessary to bear in mind that cyclists must undergo breath and drugs test when requested in preventive controls, when involved in a traffic accident or have committed a road traffic offense.
Did you know all these rules?