What you need to know about pedestrian and bicycling laws in North Carolina

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, May 1, 2014

I received a request to do a sheriff’s corner on pedestrian and bicycling laws in North Carolina.
The following is information from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT). Under North Carolina law, pedestrians have the right of way at all intersections and driveways. However, pedestrians must act responsibly, using pedestrian signals where they are available. When crossing the road at any other point than a marked or unmarked crosswalk or when walking along or upon a highway, a pedestrian has a statutory duty to yield the right of way to all vehicles on the roadway. It is the duty of pedestrians to look before starting across a highway, and in the exercise of reasonable care for their own safety, to keep a timely lookout for approaching motor vehicle traffic.
On roadways where there is no sidewalk, pedestrians should always walk facing traffic.
In North Carolina the bicycle has the legal status of a vehicle. This means that bicyclists have full rights and responsibility on the roadway and are subject to the regulations governing the operation of a motor vehicle.
North Carolina traffic laws require bicyclists to:
• ride on the right in the same direction as other traffic.
• obey all traffic signs and signals.
• use hand signals to communicate intended movements.
• equip their bicycles with a front lamp visible from 300 feet and a rear reflector that is visible from a distance of 200 feet when riding at night.
• wear a bicycle helmet on public roads, public paths, in public rights of way if the bicyclist is under 16 years old.
• secure child passengers in a child seat or bicycle trailer if under 40 pounds or 40 inches.

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