Monday, June 30, 2003

Bad Laws on the books

Check out MassBikeBoston's Guide to Improving U.S. Traffic Laws Pertaining to Bicycling

From the searchable Philadelphia Code Database on the

§12-801. Persons Riding Bicycles.
(1) Every person riding a bicycle upon a highway shall have all the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to an operator under the provisions of this Title and The Vehicle Code.

§12-802. Obedience to Traffic-control Devices.
(1) Whenever signs are erected indicating that no right or left turn is permitted, or that a turn in the opposite direction is permitted only between certain hours, no person operating a bicycle shall disobey the direction of any such signs except where such person dismounts from the bicycle to make such turn, in which event such person shall have the privileges and responsibilities of a pedestrian.

§12-803. Riding on Bicycles.
(1) A person operating a bicycle shall not ride other than astride a permanent and regular seat attached thereto.

(2) No bicycle shall be used to carry more persons at one time than the number of seats permanently affixed to such bicycle.

§12-804. Riding on Roadways and Bicycle Paths.
(1) Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride other than single file except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.

(2) Whenever a useable path for bicycles has been provided adjacent to a roadway bicycle riders shall use such path and shall not use the roadway.

§12-805. Emerging From a Driveway or Building.
(1) The operator of a bicycle emerging from a driveway or building shall upon approaching a sidewalk or the sidewalk area extending across any alleyway or driveway, yield the right-of-way to all pedestrians approaching on said sidewalk or sidewalk area, and upon entering the roadway shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles and street cars approaching on said roadway.

§12-806. Carrying Articles.
(1) No person operating a bicycle shall carry any package, bundle, or article which prevents the rider from keeping at least one hand upon the handle bars.

§12-807. Parking.
(1) No person shall park a bicycle upon a street other than against the curb or upon the sidewalk in a rack to support the bicycle, or against a building or at the curb, in such a manner as to afford the least obstruction to pedestrian traffic.

(2) Any person violating this Section shall be liable for payment of fines, costs and additional fees prescribed and assessed in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 12-2800 of this Title.[Note 6]

§12-808. Riding on Sidewalks.
(1) No person shall ride a bicycle upon a sidewalk within a business district, as such district is defined in The Vehicle Code.

(2) No person 12 years of age or more shall ride a bicycle upon any sidewalk in any district.

(3) Whenever any person is riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk, such person shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian.

(4) In areas under the jurisdiction of the Fairmount Park Commission, riding bicycles on sidewalks and foot paths may be permitted when authorized by regulations of the commission.[Note 7]

(5) Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 12-811 of this Chapter, the penalty for violation of this Section shall be a fine of $10, together with the costs of prosecution.[Note 8]

§12-809. Warning Devices and Brakes on Bicycles.
(1) No person shall operate a bicycle unless it is equipped with a bell or other device capable of giving a signal audible for a distance of at least 100 feet, except that a bicycle shall not be equipped with nor shall any person use upon a bicycle any siren or whistle.

(2) Every bicycle shall be equipped with a brake which will enable the operator to make the braked wheel skid on a dry, level, clean pavement.

§12-810. Bicycle Regulations and Penalties.
(1) The parent of any child, the guardian of any ward or any person standing in loco parentis with respect to any child shall not authorize or knowingly permit such child or ward to violate any of the provisions of this Chapter.

§12-811. Penalty.[Note 9]
(1) Any person violating any of the provisions of Chapter 12-800 (other than Section 12-807) shall, upon summary conviction before a Magistrate, pay a fine of three (3) dollars together with costs of prosecution.

§12-812. Use of Audio Headphones.[Note 10]
(1) No person shall operate a bicycle on a street or highway while wearing headphones connected to an audio device.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 12-811 of this Chapter, the penalty for violation of this Section shall be a minimum fine of fifty dollars ($50) and no more than one hundred dollars ($100) for each violation, together with the costs of prosecution, or, in default thereof, imprisonment of not more than ten (10) days.


[Note 6] 6. Added, 1989 Ordinances, p. 72.
[Note 7] 7. Amended, 1960 Ordinances, p. 912.
[Note 8] 8. Added, Bill No. 970715 (approved March 20, 1998).
[Note 9] 9. Amended, 1989 Ordinances, p. 72; amended, Bill No. 758 (approved July 24, 1995).
[Note 10] 10. Added, 1982 Ordinances, p. 1656.


Anonymous said...

Why is it bad law to have bicyclists obey traffic laws?

Why is it bad law to say that bicyclists should stay off pavements and sidewalks?

Bicyclists ran rampant all over the streets of Philadelphia causing accidents and problems.

Why should they not be subject to the lawsa that any other civilized person is subject to?