Stricter bicycle laws could be coming to Yuma

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.

About The Author

Eduardo Santiago joined the FOX 9 and ABC 5 news team in February, 2012. That’s the same year KECY launched its very first local newscast. He has been covering local news in Yuma and the Imperial Valley since his start as a KYMA photojournalist in 2006. During his decade in broadcasting, Eduardo has covered some of the biggest stories in the Desert Southwest – from President Bush’s visit to Yuma, Ariz. to the uncovering of drug tunnels that span the US-Mexico border. One of the most memorable stories Eduardo covered was the 2010 Easter Earthquake that rocked the Imperial Valley, Mexicali, and Yuma. Eduardo, along with his news team, won an award from the Associated Press for best coverage of an ongoing story following the quake. Before he made his move to TV, Eduardo was just a kid born in East Los Angeles, where he spent his early childhood. His parents moved him to Mexicali, B.C. Mexico, where he did most of his elementary school education. He finally landed in El Centro, where he graduated from Central Union High School in 2005. Eduardo is currently a student at Imperial Valley College. You can find Eduardo hanging out in the Imperial Valley and Yuma with his family on any given weekend. His off-screen passion is playing guitar and sports.

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