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Bicyclists, motorists must use same rules

Last night after dark I was sitting in the right lane at the intersection of Stevens and Biddle roads, when the right turn signal changed to green. I started my turn north onto Biddle Road under the direction of the green arrow. At that time a bicycle came flying from the north off the sidewalk and I narrowly missed hitting him. The car turning left from Biddle onto Stevens almost collided with him, as well. Would I have been responsible for the accident if I had hit the bike rider? And who would have been at fault if he had run into the side of my vehicle? The pedestrian light was red, and he was riding on the wrong side of the street (on the sidewalk) with no light.

— Steve B., Medford

"The bicyclist is completely at fault," said Medford police Sgt. Mark Boone. "A bicyclist must operate a bike in the same manner you would operate a car."

A bicycle rider must use the turn lane just as a vehicle would, he said, and a bicyclist must use hand and arm signals when turning.

If a bicycle rider chooses to use the sidewalk, the rider must "dismount and walk on the sidewalk," Boone said. He or she must also dismount when using a crosswalk.

This bicyclist was traveling in the wrong direction on the street, and cyclists are required to have a headlight at night that's visible from 500 feet.

So it sounds like you would have been off the legal hook, even though being in the right wouldn't have helped matters if you had injured the guy.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.