What Does “Share the Road” Mean in South Carolina?
Bicycle laws are actually designed to protect both cyclists and drivers. You may be familiar with the term, “Share the road,” which is the mantra to remind motorists to drive with caution near people on a bike. However, there are also laws in South Carolina that dictate how the cyclist should ride. It is important for people to understand the laws to increase safety and avoid unnecessary traffic tickets.
In some areas in the state, there are designated bicycle lanes on the side of the road. A vehicle is not permitted to block the lane in any way, and a car should yield to a cyclist if he or she is trying to enter the lane. Additionally, drivers are required to keep a safe distance from people on a bike, and they are prohibited from yelling at or harassing cyclists. Violating this law could mean a fine of $250 and, depending on the circumstances, even imprisonment of up to 30 days.
There are many rules that govern the way a cyclist should behave while riding with traffic. For example, if there is a bike lane provided, cyclists may not ride in the road unless they are trying to pass someone else. Without a bike lane, cyclists are required to ride as far right in the lane of traffic as possible – not on the sidewalk, as some people may think. It is also important to note here that cyclists do not have to ride on the shoulder of the road, but they may in order to increase their safety.
Other laws that apply to cyclists include:
- People on bicycles are not permitted to ride more than two abreast
- A cyclist may not carry someone else on the bike
- A cyclist may not attach to a vehicle
Cyclist should use hand signals when stopping or turning to alert vehicles on the road. At night, the bike should have a light on the front and a reflector on the rear to increase visibility.
When Accidents Happen
If there is an incident involving a vehicle and a cyclist, there could be significant consequences. Depending on the circumstances, a driver could face fines of up to $1,000, especially if the cyclist suffered severe injuries.
At Nosal & Jeter, we know that sharing the road is a two-way street: both drivers and cyclists must obey the state’s laws. We always advocate on a client’s behalf, no matter if it is a case involving a bicycle or another traffic violation. Our attorneys can help you navigate the legal process and protect you from hefty fines, marks on your driving record or other penalties.
Source: South Carolina Code of Laws, https://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess117_2007-2008/bills/3006.htm