Ticket to ride: Seven ways to get busted while riding your bicycle

Spring brings green grass, more daylight hours, warmer weather and, for many Kansans, an irresistible urge to dust off the bicycle and hit the road.

Be warned, though. Many bicycling habits, in addition to being dangerous, are illegal and could get you a ticket.

According to state law, “every person riding a bicycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle.�

Maj. John Sidwell, spokesman for Topeka police, talked about some of the main infractions.
1. Failing to stop completely at a stop sign or red light. “Every year we work accident scenes between people on bikes and people in cars. Doing a bump and run on a stop sign doesn’t give you an adequate amount of time to see a car coming. We do write citations for this.�

2. Riding the wrong way on a one-way street. “This really is a major hazard. Think about your driving. When you pull up to a stop sign at a one-way street, you look at oncoming traffic. No one is coming, so you pull out. You don’t look both ways.�

3. Not stopping for school buses that are loading or unloading children. It is the same law as with a car. “You can cause yourself injury and cause the pedestrian, or kid, injury, if you go by that bus and a child runs out in front.�

4. Riding after dusk without a front head lamp that emits a white light visible for at least 500 feet. “Think of the car driver. Most look for headlights. If they don’t see anything, they figure they are clear to go. It comes down to a visibility issue so other vehicles can see you are on the roadway.�

5. Riding at speeds faster than what is reasonable and proper for road conditions and safety.

6. Not using arm signals when changing directions or stopping.

7. Riding three or more abreast. “Traditionally speaking, if they will break and allow traffic to get by, we normally won’t write them a citation. But if they are making traffic go out of their way, we can write (the cyclists) a ticket.�


“We very, very strongly recommend helmets, particularly for kids. Every year, we work accidents where children fall and hit their heads on the curb. They die or receive severe injuries. Helmets are extremely important.�


“Sometimes, people are in disbelief that they are actually getting a ticket. Often, they don’t realize they are in violation of the law. Normally, we don’t give kids tickets. What you are trying to do is get the person not to do it again. Often, kids are pretty pliable if you chat with them.�

Courtesy of CJ Online Blogs

When I was 14, I got a ticket for failing to stop at a stop sign. As the cop was writing me a ticket, cars would drive by and do a rolling stop on the same sign I got busted on….aye. But just like this article, I learned my lesson. To this day, I stop at a stop sign…well at least most of the time.

1 Comment

  1. Jessica Rawlins

    I never knew these laws, it’s actually very surprising to me, but good advice to take in and remember when I’m out biking!

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