Klein Frank, P.C. Klein Frank, P.C.

What Are Boulder’s Bicycle Laws?

image of a bicyclist riding in the bike lane

We see bicycle riders every day and rarely think twice about the laws that we all must follow to keep them safe. However, we believe that education is crucial to improving safety and understanding the rights and responsibilities that all drivers and riders have.

The City of Boulder, Colorado has very specific local rules and regulations when it comes to cyclist safety. Here are some crucial rules to arm yourself with so that you can understand your role in rider and pedestrian safety:

1. Speed Limits.

  • Bicyclists must enter crosswalks at 8 mph or less.

  • Multi-use paths have a 15 mph speed limit for bicycles, unless noted otherwise.

2. Equipment

  • It is illegal for cyclists to wear headphones, earbuds, or AirPods while biking.

  • When riding before dawn or after dusk, cyclists are legally required to equip their bikes with a white light for the front and a red light for the back.

3. Where to Ride

  • Always ride with the flow of traffic

  • Stay on designated bike paths and trails

4. Yielding

  • Motorists must always yield to cyclists and pedestrians

  • Cyclists must yield to pedestrians

(*Note: It is most important to avoid an accident than it is to abide by a law or claim a right of way)

For more information on Boulder’s safe road initiatives and plans to reduce traffic collisions, visit the Safe Streets Boulder: Vision Zero website.

Comparative Negligence

Oftentimes, our injury attorneys come across cases where a cyclist may have failed to follow a bicycle law when he or she was hit by a vehicle. Many times, bicyclists think that they cannot pursue compensation for their injuries because they did not follow a bicycle law that they should have been following at the time of the crash.

This is a misconception. Do not let the driver who hit you, the police officer arriving on the scene, or anyone else tell you that you are not entitled to pursue compensation because you “caused your injuries.”

Colorado follows a comparative negligence rule, meaning that an injured party who is considered partially at fault for the accident can still pursue compensation for their injuries, but their award amount will be reduced by the percentage of fault that they had in the accident.

For instance, a bicycle rider may not have had a red reflector mounted on the rear of their bike, one of the bicycle laws in Boulder. However, the driver who hits this rider may be found to have been speeding at the time of the accident.

The bicycle rider may be awarded $100,000 for their injuries but found to be 10% at fault for the crash. Their award amount would then be reduced by 10%, or $10,000, and they would actually receive $90,000 because of comparative negligence.

Advocating for the Rights of Injured Cyclists

When it comes to rider safety, everyone on the road has a part to play. Understanding local bicycle laws is not just crucial for riders but for drivers sharing the road with them.

At Klein Frank, our Boulder bicycle accident attorneys are committed to holding negligent drivers accountable for their negligent actions of failing to share the road. If you’ve been injured in a bicycle crash, our injury attorneys will work hard to help you pursue the compensation that you deserve and need to heal physically and emotionally.

Contact Klein Frank at (303) 448-8884 to schedule your free, personalized case review. There are absolutely no fees and no obligations to sit down with our dedicated team to discuss your legal options moving forward.

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