Cyclists and the law

The following information is kindly provided by members of the Guardia Civil based in Torrevieja, Costa Blanca, N332.

Cyclists and the Law of the Road.

It is probably safe to say that all road users have witnessed a bicycle rider going through a red light or riding on the pavement, a practice that many find frustrating, but always on that raises the same question, are cyclist allowed to do such things?

The simple answer is NO.

In terms of law, once a bicycle is being ridden it is classed as a vehicle and therefore covered by the same rules and laws as a car, lorry, bus in fact any other vehicle on the road.

It is only when the rider dismounts and walks with the bcycle it is considered otherwise. In this instance, the situation means that the person has become a predestrian. That is the same reason why cyclists cannot ride across zebra crossings, because we wouldn’t expect a lorry to do that, and the rider must dismount before they do.

Listening to music using headphones or using a mobile phone when riding a bike are prohibited in the same way as they are for other vehicles. Consuming more than the prescribed limit of alcohol or using drugs is also not allowed as a cyclist you are governed by the rules of the road. Just so you know what you are risking lets have a look at some of the most common infractions and fines.

  • Not having a bell on your bicycle – €80
  • Faulty or no brakes – €80
  • Carrying an extra person on the bicycle – €80
  • Failing to stop at a traffic light – €200
  • Failing to give way at a junction – €200
  • Not having lights – €200
  • Having too many lights – €200
  • Failing to wear high visibility clothing between sunset and sunrise and in poor visibility – €200
  • Riding under the influence of alcohol – €500

There are many other laws and infractions commonly committed by cyclists, as well as other road users of course. You can indeed be fined on your bike and remember that one golden rule, when you are riding your bike, it is a vehicle and governed by the same rules and laws as every other vehicle.

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