With the warmer summer weather full force, the Directorate of Emergency Services (DES) Law Enforcement Division would like to remind the Redstone community of the rules of the road regarding bicycles on the installation to increase awareness and promote bicycle safety.
Thousands of Americans are injured or killed while cycling every year. While we don’t typically have a large number of traffic accidents involving bicycles on Redstone Arsenal, the potential is always there. We do, however, receive complaints from motorists, as well as cyclists, regarding installation requirements. The vast majority of concerns or complaints received indicate a significant number of people, bicyclists and motorists alike, don’t fully understand the rights and responsibilities of cyclists.
Most traffic accidents can be avoided if bicyclists and motorists follow the rules of the road, are more observant of their surroundings and exercise common courtesy. Under Alabama state law (Code of Alabama 1975 Title 32-5A-260), bicycles are vehicles and are afforded the same legal rights and responsibilities as any other vehicle on the roadways.
Cyclists on the Arsenal are strongly encouraged to wear high visibility clothing during daylight hours and during the hours of dark or limited visibility. Cyclists are also required to wear, as an outer garment, a reflective and brightly colored safety vest or belt. The bicycle must also have a white light lamp in the front that is visible from at least 500 feet, and a red reflector facing the rear which is visible up to 600 feet. Riders are also required to wear approved bicycle helmets in accordance with the standards outlined in Redstone Regulation 190-5. The wearing of headphones, earphones or other listening devices while bicycling on or adjacent to roadways on DOD installations is prohibited.
Bicycles must utilize bike paths or bike lanes if they are available. If not possible, cyclists must ride no more than two abreast, except when being passed by traffic from the same direction, in which case you must ride single file. There are some exceptions, such as the above requirement to use a bike path or lane instead of the roadway, but for the most part, the traffic laws are equally applicable to all vehicles, including bicycles. Bicyclists are required to conform to all traffic laws when riding on the roadways including stopping at red lights and stop signs, yielding the right of way when required, etc.
Bicycles, like motorcycles, present a small silhouette and as a result, sometimes go unnoticed by motorists. We ask that each rider is safe and courteous, considers traffic flow and volume while maintaining increased situational awareness of their surroundings so they may have a safe, enjoyable bike ride.
Please contact the DES Law Enforcement Division if you have any questions, and we will be happy to assist.
For additional information related to bicycle rules of the road go to the following link:
Title 32 Motor Vehicles and Traffic: http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/alison/codeofalabama/1975/coatoc.htm.
For additional bicycle safety related information and statistics please visit the following link: http://www.nhtsa.gov/Bicycles.