Get Smart Before You Spin 

Know the rules of the road

Boise is a big bike town but that doesn't mean it's a two-wheeled free-for-all on the roads. Mind your P's and Q's and keep yourself and everyone else safe—and spare yourself a citation.

Harassment of cyclists and pedestrians:

It is a misdemeanor for any person to intentionally cause harm to a pedestrian or cyclist. Whether it is verbal harassment, intimidation or the physical hurling of objects, offenders face a $300 fine and/or six months in jail.

Riding on sidewalks and crosswalks:

Cyclists can ride on sidewalks or in crosswalks so long as it isn't a threat to pedestrians or motorists, unless it is prohibited by a traffic sign. A cyclist must give the right of way to pedestrians, and they can't dart into traffic. Failure to walk your bike in busy areas, or interfering with traffic, will cost you $56.50.

Three feet to pass:

Drivers have to play nice, too. Anyone passing a cyclist or pedestrian must stay at least 3 feet away. Getting too close could cost a driver $85.

Cars turning left and right:

A motorist who is turning left must yield to a cyclist. A motorist who is turning right can't turn directly in front of a cyclist. Failure to do either could cost $85.

Reckless operation of a bike:

Anyone on a bike who endangers pedestrians or rides at a reckless speed can end up in jail for up to six months and/or pay a $1,000 fine.

Idaho Stop Law:

A true Idaho original. Cyclists can treat stop signs like yield signs and stop lights like stop signs. Bikers still have to stop at an intersection and yield right of way to vehicles already there, of course.

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Mike Rosenthal

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