ridecamp@endurance.net: Rules of the Road

Rules of the Road

Joyce Kellenberger (joyce@homer.ca.boeing.com)
Fri, 14 Feb 97 16:27:10 PST

In Washington state the rules are the same as automobiles. In other words,
go with traffic and ride defensively. I researched this recently for our
local riding club. We do cross the road and face traffic when a hill or
curve inhibits visibility for the driver.

Several years ago I was riding a bicycle on the sidewalk, facing traffic in
the city of Marysville, Washington. I used to commute to and from work and
my husband asked that if I insisted on commuting in this manner, would I
please ride on the sidewalk. So, I complied. I was hit by a car leaving a
parking lot on the sidewalk. After all was said and done, I was at fault.
You see, it is against the ordinance in the city of Marysville to: 1) ride
a bicycle on the sidewalk, and 2) be traveling more than 5 miles an hour.

I was fortunate in that I was not seriously hurt. The bottom line is when
push comes to shove the law will be upheld. Know the laws of your state
and county. Don't expect damages for an incident involving you and your
horse if you are following your own rules. And, expect that drivers don't
want you and your horse on the road. Most of them believe if you've got the
nerve to be on the road on a horse, you must know what you are doing. They
really believe we're in complete control or we wouldn't be there. Believe
it or not, YOU could be held liable even if it results in the serious injury
or you and/or your horse.

I'm surprised none of our resident lawyers haven't jumped it on this topic.


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