YUMA, Ariz. – Stricter bicycle laws could be coming to the City of Yuma. Yuma Police say bike related collisions have increased over the years. City Council will hear an amendment tomorrow that, if passed, would restrict the places cyclists can ride.
For many, a bicycle is their only mode of transportation. Foothills resident Billy Williams is one of them.
“I ride about 11 miles into town,” he said. “I try to stay on the street as much as possible to avoid pedestrians.”
Yuma police officers are asking city council to update current bicycle laws such as giving pedestrians the right of way over cyclists. The changes would also require bikes to move with the flow of traffic not against it. Little Belgium Bicycles general manager Samuel Bell says that’s a good idea.
“I think it’s extremely dangerous and unnecessary. There’s no good situation to ride against the flow of traffic,” Bell said.
The proposal goes on to recommend prohibiting the use of a bike on sidewalks. Yuma Police say it would prevent bicycle accidents with both pedestrians and vehicles. Williams agrees.
“It’s a good idea. There’s no reason two wheels should be right where people are walking,” Williams said.
Bell pointed out the restriction could put children in unsafe situations.
“Putting an eleven year old girl on a beach cruiser and somebody going 20 miles an hour on a road bike in that three foot space could be really dangerous.”
The proposal also penalizes cyclists who go too fast and limits where they can park their bikes. Most of these laws haven’t been updated since the 1970’s.