In 2015, drivers racked up more than 60,000 red light camera violations in the District. However, now police are looking at Washington, D.C. bicyclists, who have triggered red light cameras 1,557 times between January of 2015 and April of 2016. Unfortunately, police have no way to identify bicyclists who run red lights, so many do not pay for a ticket and continue to violate this traffic law.
There are some intersections in the district that have hundreds of bicyclist red light violations, including:
- Rhode Island Avenue and First Street NW, which had 276 violations
- Oak Street NW and 16th Street, which had 201 violations
- K Street and 27th Street NW, which had 173 violations
Bicyclists are more vulnerable than drivers and could sustain more serious injuries in a bicycle accident. However, they don’t just endanger themselves when they run a red light. They also unintentionally put pedestrians and motorists who may try to avoid them in harm’s way.
While it is true that the majority of traffic deaths are caused by cars, the bicycling community must still follow the laws that are in place to keep them and others safe.
How DC Bicyclists Can Navigate Safely Through Washington, D.C.
According to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, bicyclists must obey D.C. traffic laws. Some safe practices include:
- Wearing reflective gear
- Not wearing headphones
- Though it is not a law, it is safer to ride with traffic, rather than against it
- Always wearing a helmet
- Yielding to pedestrians
In turn, drivers must check for cyclists when turning right across a bike lane. Additionally, it is illegal for drivers to park in bike lanes. Drivers should always check before opening their doors. It may seem minor, but “dooring” a passing bicyclist can still cause serious harm.
Call a D.C. Personal Injury Lawyer
Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP is a personal injury law firm that helps injury victims in Washington, D.C. We help those injured due to car crashes, bicycle accidents and pedestrian accidents. Call us today to speak to one of our attorneys.