New Orleans may be one of the most bike-friendly cities in America with all of the new bike lanes installed throughout the city and the number of bike commuters has been increasing steadily over the past few years. With the number of bikes on the road, it can be frustrating for both riders and drivers of cars as we learn how to share the road with each other. While some major thruways like Esplanade and Loyola have designated bike lanes, riders and drivers still have to share the road due to how narrow the streets are for both two lanes of cars, two sides of parked cars and the possibility of bikes on either side. While biking can be frustrating in New Orleans, there are still a number of laws bikers must adhere to as the city of New Orleans can and will give out bike tickets.
Different Types of Bike Tickets
Here is a short list of some of the violations you could be ticketed for from law enforcement in New Orleans:
- Riding the wrong way down a one-way street
As a biker, you must adhere to the same laws as drivers of cars. Therefore, you cannot ride your bike down a one-way street the wrong way. You can get a ticket. It is also very dangerous, as cars that want to make a turn onto these streets are not looking for you to come from the other side.
- Not stopping at red lights or stop signs
Because riding your bike through an intersection is extremely dangerous, you must always follow the same laws as cars. If there is a stop sign, or a red traffic light, you should stop for crossing vehicles. Look both ways before making any moves. You can get ticketed for rolling through any sort of intersection – not to mention, it is extremely dangerous.
- Failing to use a turn signal
Your bike doesn’t have a turn signal? Use a hand signal. Many mo-ped bikes have turning signals, so use them. It is the same law that automobiles must follow. Although you may see others not using turn signals, it does not mean that you can’t get ticketed for it.
- Failure to wear a bike helmet for persons under the age of 12
If you are riding a bike with a minor under the age of 12, or if you have a child in a child seat strapped to your bike, they must wear a helmet. You can be ticketed. It is hazardous to not wear a helmet, so it is advisable that all persons riding bikes should wear helmets for your own safety.
- Riding your bike on the wrong side of the road
Though this is similar to riding the wrong way down a one-way street, the law requires that bikers ride on the right hand side of the road alongside vehicles. The law states that “every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction, except when overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction, preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway, to avoid fixed or moving objects, and when approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.”
- Biking while under the influence
Yes, you can get a ticket, and possibly arrested for biking under the influence. An officer can issue you a ticket, but in the event you are unruly, it is possible that are arrested as anyone charged with a driving while intoxicated would be. The law states that every person who rides a bicycle upon a highway in Louisiana is granted the same rights and is subject to the same duties that a drive of a vehicle has. This includes biking while under the influence.
- Careless Operation
When your careless operation of bicycle causes an accident, you can be found “at fault.” If you have car insurance, your insurance may go up even if you weren’t operating a car at the time of the accident because your Louisiana Driving Record (LDR) will be negatively impacted by the accident.
What To Do When You Are Issued a Bike Ticket
If you receive a bike ticket from law enforcement, they are treated similarly to traffic tickets. If you do not pay them, an arrest warrant will be issued. If you do pay your bike tickets, then there is a possibility that your insurance goes up if you have car insurance. The good news is that because they are treated like traffic tickets, an experienced traffic ticket lawyer can help you fight your bike ticket. Crescent City Law has had to help numerous clients with bike tickets and has seen them be dismissed entirely. If you are issued a bike traffic ticket, you should consider calling a New Orleans defense attorney to see about the possibility of fighting your bike ticket. You can call Crescent City Law at (504) 264-9492 or e-mail us here. We are available for a free initial consultation and can talk to you about your options and find a way to help fight your bike tickets in Louisiana.
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