“Look twice, save a life” — the warning applies to everyone on the road, but none more than those of use bicycles. When a tractor trailer, 4000-pound car or SUV collides with a bicycle, the results are often catastrophic. Broken bones, brain injuries and loss of life are unfortunately all too common. Impatience, inattention, distracted driving, texting while driving, passing too closely and harassing in violation of South Carolina law result in tragic personal injuries and losses that could have easily been avoided. Horton Law Firm has an experienced lawyer available to help bicyclists injured by the recklessness of others.
Before Bo Campbell was a bike accident lawyer, Bo was a avid cyclist. He still rides as much as he can. Bo has friends who are cyclists and is a member of the Greenville Spinners. Whenever a cyclist is injured or killed because of the recklessness of a driver, it both angers and saddens Bo. He takes it personally. Law is a business, but there are cases and there are causes. Helping cyclists and their families get justice is one of Bo’s causes.
Preventing bike accidents is the first order of business. South Carolina has laws intended to prevent injury and harassment of cyclists, whether it be those who are doing it competitively or casually. Below are the most important South Carolina biking laws that you should be aware of:
S.C. BIKE LAWS
SECTION 56-5-3420. Rights and duties of bicyclists generally.
A person riding a bicycle upon a roadway must be granted all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this chapter, except as to special provisions in this article and except as to those provisions of this chapter which by their nature can have no application.
SECTION 56-5-3425. Bicycle lanes.
(A) For purposes of this section, “bicycle lane” means a portion of the roadway or a paved lane separated from the roadway that has been designated by striping, pavement markings, and signage for the preferential or exclusive use of bicyclists.
(B) Whenever a bicycle lane has been provided adjacent to a roadway, operators of:
(1) motor vehicles may not block the bicycle lane to oncoming bicycle traffic and shall yield to a bicyclist in the bicycle lane before entering or crossing the lane; and
(2) bicycles are required to ride in the bicycle lane except when necessary to pass another person riding a bicycle or to avoid an obstruction in the bicycle lane. However, bicyclists may ride on the roadway when there is only an adjacent recreational bicycle path available instead of a bicycle lane.
SECTION 56-5-3430. Riding on roadways and bicycle paths.
(A) Except as provided in subsection (B), every bicyclist operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable. A bicyclist may, but is not required to, ride on the shoulder of the roadway in order to comply with the requirements of this subsection.
(B) A bicyclist may ride in a lane other than the right-hand lane if only one lane is available that permits the bicyclist to continue on his intended route.
(C) When operating a bicycle upon a roadway, a bicyclist must exercise due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.
(D) Bicyclists riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.
SECTION 56-5-3435. Driver to maintain safe operating distance between motor vehicle and bicycle.
A driver of a motor vehicle must at all times maintain a safe operating distance between the motor vehicle and a bicycle.
SECTION 56-5-3440. Manner of riding bicycles; number of persons which may be carried.
A bicyclist propelling a bicycle may not ride other than upon or astride a permanent and regular seat attached to the bicycle. No bicycle may be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped.
SECTION 56-5-3445. Harassing or throwing object at person riding bicycle penalty.
It is unlawful to harass, taunt, or maliciously throw an object at or in the direction of any person riding a bicycle. A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than two hundred fifty dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both.
In addition to these statutes, the common law of negligence and gross negligence applies. If a driver fails to exercise reasonable care and hit someone riding a bike, that person is liable for the damages they cause. Bo Campbell has represented cyclists and their families and has recovered damages caused by the negligence of others. If you are looking for an experienced lawyer who truly understands and cares, give Bo Campbell at the Horton Law Firm a call. 864.233.4351.