Cycling on the road is known to come with certain risks, such as dealing with traffic, making sure you are visible to other drivers and protecting yourself from injury. However, another risk you may not have considered, but that is possible to encounter, is receiving a speeding ticket while on a bicycle. Cyclists generally do not hit high enough speeds to go over the posted speed limit, so this is not as common of an occurrence as speeding tickets for car drivers. However, there have been cases where cyclists traveling downhill, or through construction or school zones, have been ticketed for speeding. Depending on the laws and ordinances of your state and county, failing to take note of your speed can land you in a sticky situation.
In many states, a bicycle is considered an automobile, subjecting cyclists to the same laws and penalties as car drivers. In states that do not consider bicycles automobiles, drivers are still subject to the same rights and duties of a driver of an automobile. For a full list of which states consider bicycles as automobiles, you can visit this link.
While cyclists typically do not reach speeds of up to 40 or 50 mph, while riding through an area with a lower speed limit-such as a school or construction zone-may present a situation where a cyclist unknowingly goes over the speed limit. Additionally, bicycles traveling downhill have been known to reach very high speeds, sometimes up to 60 mph, which, in addition to being a violation of traffic laws, can be very dangerous.
Most bicycles do not come with a speedometer built-in, so it is difficult for cyclists to determine what speed they are riding at. Unfortunately, not having a speedometer or not knowing that you were speeding is not a defense to a speeding ticket on a bicycle. Since cyclists are held to the same standards and duties as drivers, they are expected to make sure that they are riding at the posted speed limit at all times. For this reason, it is a good idea for cyclists to invest in a speedometer so that they can ensure they are in compliance with the laws while riding.
Traffic laws and ordinances will differ, depending on the state and county you cycle in. In some states, a speeding ticket on a bike can be successfully contested, while in other states, it is much harder. In some cities, such as Seattle, bicycle speeding tickets can affect insurance rates. However, Seattle, along with other cities, offers a bicycle education course for cyclists to take in exchange for reduced fines and dismissal of their ticket.
Many cops have been known to be reluctant to hand out speeding tickets to cyclists, as they view these incidents as less serious than infractions committed by car drivers. However, in some states, fines for speeding tickets on bikes have been reduced so that they are lower than car speeding tickets, making cops less hesitant to hand them out.
Although uncommon, it is possible to receive a speeding ticket while riding a bicycle. If you ride a bicycle, it is important to check the applicable laws and ordinances of the location you cycle in to make sure you are in compliance with all requirements while riding. It can also be useful to purchase a speedometer for your bike so that you can take note of your speed while going through lower limit speed zones or cycling downhill.
If you have received a speeding ticket while riding a bicycle or have questions about any other traffic violation, TicketVoid can help. TicketVoid is a free service that matches you with an attorney to help you in any traffic situation. Simply enter your ticket or case information into the free consultation form, and TicketVoid will match you with an attorney for free. For help with your traffic violation or case, visit TicketVoid.com today.