Kansas City Bicycle Accidents Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, we can help. Personal injury attorney Mark Schloegel understands bicycling and is committed to the bicycling community in the Kansas City area. He is a member of the cycling team, Midwest Velo, and volunteers for Free Wheels for Kids, a local non-profit empowering kids through bikes.
Summary of Bicycle Laws in Kansas City and Missouri
Under both Missouri and Kansas Law, bicyclists have the same rules, rights and responsibilities as other drivers. Motorists, however, may not do anything that endangers a bicyclist, pedestrian, or other motorist. Safety, not speed, is the highest consideration in traffic law.
Some things to consider:
- Bicyclists have the same rules, rights and responsibilities as other drivers. For example, bicyclists must stop at stop signs and drive on the right-hand side of the road.
- The law does not require a helmet. However, helmets prevent serious injury!
- In 2014, Kansas City passed a new law prohibiting the ‘harassment of a bicyclist’. See Sec. 50-205.
- Kansas law requires that vehicles pass bicycles with at least three (3) feet of clearance. See KSA 8-1516. Missouri requires a ‘safe distance’.
- Bicycles and motorized bicycles may ride on any street except travel lanes of interstate highways or where prevented by a local law.
- Anyone riding between sunset and sunrise must have a headlight on the front, a red reflector or tail light on the back, reflective material or a light on the moving parts of the bicyclist or bike and reflective material or lights on the sides of the bike.
- All bikes must have brakes that work.
- Bicycles may be ridden on sidewalks except in busy downtown areas and where prevented by local law. Pedestrians have the right of way and bicyclists must alert walkers by voice, horn or bell.
- Generally, bicyclists may not ride more than two abreast.
- Use turn and stop hand signals (see MO Sections 304.019 and 307.192, RSMo) at all times when operating a bicycle or motorized bicycle.
- Traffic signals often fail to detect bicyclists–meaning that the signal won’t cycle and give you the green. Bicyclists can sometimes proceed through a red light, but only under very specific conditions: 1) You come to a complete stop. 2) The traffic signal shows a red light for an unreasonable amount of time and appears to be malfunctioning. 3) You wait for a safe break in cross traffic–both vehicles and pedestrians.
- Motorists may not do anything, even something that otherwise appears to be legal, that endangers a bicyclist, pedestrian, or other motorist. Safety, not speed, is the highest consideration in traffic law.
- Motorists must treat bicycles as any other vehicle. For instance, do not pull out in front of a moving bicyclist, cut a bicyclist off, or pass a bicyclist unsafely.
- When traveling slower than traffic, bicyclists generally move to the right of the travel lanes, just as other slow moving vehicles do. But do not expect bicyclists to hug the curb, dodge in and out between parked cars, or ride on a debris-covered shoulder. Bicycling that way is not safe, and the law requires bicyclists to ride safely.
- If the lane is too narrow to safely share between a bicycle and a motor vehicle, the bicycle may move towards the center of the lane so as to discourage motor vehicles from dangerously squeezing past in the lane. If you see a bicyclist riding in the middle of the lane in this way, the bicyclist is following the law. Slow and wait behind the bicyclist until it is safe to move into the next lane to pass.
- Bicyclists may sometimes ride the shoulder of the road when available. But they are not required by law to do so (unless there is a dedicated bike lane). Obstacles in the shoulder such as glass, debris, or rough pavement may not be obvious to the motorist but may be very dangerous to the bicyclist.
- Bicycle lanes may not be blocked or used for parking. Motorists must signal and yield to any bicyclists in the lane before crossing a bicycle lane. As with shoulders, bicyclists may leave the bike lane for any number of reasons, including debris, obstacles, or to prepare for a turn.
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For more information, see the Revised Statutes of Missouri Sections 300.347, 300.350, 304.019, 304.285, 307.183, 307.185, 307.188, 307.190, 307.191, 307.192, 307.193, 307.195. See Kansas Statutes, K.S.A. 8-1516, 8-1587 to 8-1592. In addition, every city and county in Missouri has adopted Chapter 300 or similar language into their own municipal code.
How a Kansas City Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You
First and foremost, bicycle accidents cause physical and emotional pain, suffering, and injury. In some cases, they leave cyclists with permanent injuries, and unfortunately, deaths do occur. From slight injuries to the more severe cases, these injuries can put you out of work, rendering you unable to pay the bills or fulfill financial obligations.
Therefore, if you or a loved one is injured in an accident, a personal injury attorney will fight to keep your life and finances in order. Attorney Mark Schloegel is passionate about cycling, but he is more concerned about your well-being and financial security. Thus, he will use the full extent of Missouri, Kansas, and federal laws to increase the likelihood of full compensation for pain and suffering, loss of earnings, and medical expenses. You need an attorney who offers aggressive and compassionate compensation, who knows how to negotiate for your benefit and your future.