We wanted to know how much people on the street know about Boise's bike laws. Knowing those laws can keep you out of trouble with police.
The first question; what do you do when making a turn? "use your left hand and go like this if you're going left, like this if you're going right... do that," said Brian Lawatch of Boise. He demonstrated it correctly. You use the same hand signals you would in the event your taillights were out on your car. Boise Bike Laws from BPD
The second question we asked, when you come across pedestrians on a sidewalk or in a crosswalk what should you do? According to the law you can scoot by provided it's safe to do so. If not, you need to get off the bike and walk it past the potential danger. You're also suppose to alert your nearby using a bell or say "on your left," or "on your right."
The third question we asked, when you roll up to a stop light what do you do? "I think you can go past a red light," said Brian Lawatch. "If I look both ways and I don't see anybody then I'll probably go," said Jackie Elo of Boise. Those are not right. "You have to stop at a stop light, at least stop if they're red, look both ways and make sure nobody is coming, (if it's clear) then proceed from there," said Spencer Harrison of Boise.
There are many more laws too, those are just three of the most commonly misunderstood. In any event, too many people aren't following the rules.
"So there's a lot of issues that can come up when you're up on the streets," said officer Tom Shuler of the Boise Police Department's Bicycle Unit.
Those issues are showing up in crash data. There were 163 bicycle related incidents in 2012. That's a 15 percent increase over 2011. While officers see bike riders frequently breaking the law on two wheels, they rarely give out tickets. So far in 2013 only 8 tickets have been handed out for bicycle related violations.
"You know our primary job is safety when it comes to this issue, we want to make sure that cyclists and motorists both respect each other and get along. It's not a revenue generator, safety is our concern. We give a lot of warnings and do a lot of education. Always ride defensively and be very careful," said officer Shuler.