Cycling around the city is probably the healthiest way to get around. We improve our physical form, it may take less time than in any other vehicle and, in addition, we help reduce pollution of the city
In addition, with the generalization of electric bicycles, many users have discovered this means of transport, as it allows older or less physically fit people to also enjoy it. Not forgetting that it is an easy way to reduce the physical effort to the office and not break a sweat on the way.
But, if you are one of those who considers the electric bicycle as a real alternative to the car within the city, it is important that you do not forget a series of conditions that will make its use a safest activity. For you and for your pocket, because you will not incur in violations that you did not know existed and, therefore, you will also avoid fines.
Before you get going
Although a cyclist does not have a points card that enables him to ride a bicycle, it must be taken into account that, like any other traffic agent, we will have to respect the rules of the General Traffic Regulations. Before putting on your helmet and starting to pedal, there are some concepts that we should not overlook. The DGT has a good guide with 20 essential points before riding a bicycle.
One of the first things you should consider before buying a bike is what defines electric bicycles. These are like traditional two-wheelers but include a small battery that powers an electric motor to generate more force. Thus, we will be able to match the speed of faster traffic and also drive faster on slopes, which will increase our safety.
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Of course, keep in mind that the motor of the electric bicycle will stop working when it detects that it exceeds 25 km/h. If this were not the case, the electric bicycle would be considered a moped, which would require it to have a license plate, insurance and the cyclist to have a license. That is to say, the cyclist who uses an electric bicycle will have it easier, but he will not be able to forget to pedal.
Beware of fines
For our safety and that of others, when we ride a bicycle we must take into account a series of rules. Also so that our pocket does not suffer, because we can accumulate sanctions that reach up to 1,000 euros.
all under control
The publication of the reformed Law on Traffic, Circulation of Motor Vehicles and Road Safety has served for us to see, for the first time, a rate of 0.0 in our country. This has only been defined for the youngest. Thus, those under 18 who ride a bicycle will not be able to count on the margin of 0.5 g/l of alcohol in blood or 0.25 milligrams per liter of alcohol in expired air.
Do not forget that a cyclist can also be subjected to an alcohol and drug control. Exceeding the maximum allowed entails a fine of 500 euros that can rise to 1,000 euros in case of testing positive for drugs or being a repeat offender in the consumption of alcohol while driving.
Obviously, not consuming alcohol or drugs before starting off is essential, but we must also remember that the use of a helmet is mandatory for those under 16 years of age. Above this age, its use is only recommended, but it is clear that the benefits far outweigh the discomfort of wearing it. If the cyclist is under 16 years of age and lacks this protection element, the fine is 200 euros.
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As with the helmet, the lights on the bike are not always mandatory, but they are recommended. When driving at night, in underpasses or tunnels, it is necessary to have a white front light and a red rear light. Failure to do so entails a fine of 200 euros.
The same goes for reflective clothing. Whenever the lights are necessary, it will also be necessary to have this type of clothing to make us visible to the rest of the traffic agents. In this case, the fine is 80 euros but, as with lights, driving with reflective clothing and lights will increase our safety during the day as well.
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And finally, do you know how many people can travel on a bicycle? Carrying a passenger in this vehicle is only allowed if the child is under seven years of age and does so in an approved seat. In addition, the cyclist must be of legal age. In case of breaching any of these obligations, the penalty is 100 euros.
Once we start and start pedaling, the most important thing is to move safely through traffic. And the first thing is incorporation to the road on which we are going to circulate. We have to do it without obstructing traffic and without endangering ourselves or others. In fact, breaking this rule is punishable by a 200 euro fine.
In the city, the DGT recommends driving as far to the right of the lane as possible, always leaving a sufficient safety distance from the curb or parked vehicles to avoid complications. However, in this case we recommend reading the Municipal Mobility Ordinance of your city carefully, because some cities allow the cyclist to ride in the center of the lane to increase safety.
This does not exempt cyclists from complying with the basic traffic regulations. not respect the pass priority, both with other vehicles and with pedestrians, is punished with a 200 euro fine. And not complying with the obligations of the signs (give way, stop, traffic lights) can result in a penalty of between 150 and 500 euros, depending on its severity.
In the city, it is especially important to know how to signal a left or right turn. In the case of taking an exit to the left, simply extend the left arm at shoulder height with the palm down or place the right arm at a right angle. If we want to turn to the right, the movements will be the opposite. Not signaling these maneuvers suppose a 200 euro fine.
In addition, although this maneuver is not mandatory, it will increase our safety by signaling a braking abrupt. In this case, we can alert other drivers and other cyclists with short and repeated up-down movements with one of the two arms. A stop can also be alerted with the arm at a ninety degree angle and the hand on the bottom, as opposed to a turn.
Also, the cyclist must take into account that, although he is one of the most vulnerable traffic agents, pedestrians are even more so. For this reason, not respecting the priority of a pedestrian is punished with a 200 euro fine, as we have already pointed out, and driving on the sidewalk or through a zebra crossing is punishable by 100 euros.
Finally, keep in mind that distractions are one of the main causes of accidents. As in cars, the use of mobile phones is prohibited and the fine is 200 euros. In the same way, headphones cannot be used while riding a bicycle. His punishment, once again, is a 200 euro penalty.
Photos | next bike
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism