D.C. cycling made safer with new rules of the road
WASHINGTON (WJLA) - The number of bicycles on the road in D.C. spiked 130 percent last year. And with bikes, cars, trucks, and buses all trying to navigate the same narrow streets, the city now has some new rules of the road. And cyclists are calling it a victory.
"This bill is definitely a win for the cycling community," says cyclist Billing. "We think it's really going to make cyclists safer and hold drivers a little more accountable for colliding with cyclists...which is a huge problem."
The new rules will let cyclists cross some intersections like pedestrians do – a bit ahead of the light.
"It's nice to get out a little bit of a head start so you don't feel so pushed," says cyclist Senff.
The new rules also place more responsibility on the drivers. If a driver fails to yield to a cyclist, he or she could get three points on their license, along with a $250 fine.
And if a driver collides with a cyclist, there could be six points on your license and a $500 fine.
As a result, some District drivers are not at all happy with these new rules, saying they aren't fair.
"All bicyclists don't operate their vehicle like they should," says Bradford.
In fact, while we saw many cyclists being responsible, there were plenty of others blowing through red lights and cutting around drivers who have signaled they are turning.
"And if we hit them, we're automatically wrong because we're in the car and they're on the bike...and it's just not right," says driver Anderson.
Cyclists say the laws are needed because they are the most vulnerable out there on the road – but drivers tell us it has to be a two-way street.
"I definitely support all types of transportation, but I would like if they would compromise," says Clarke. "I'm going to be aware of you, and you need to be aware of me."