Do motor vehicle laws apply to trike riders?
A. The rules of the road are usually the same. On your trike, always stop for stop signs. I have noticed over the years that the vast majority of bicyclists never stop at stop signs. Whatever their reasons, there is a very negative consequence that flows from disregarding stop signs or other traffic laws: Motorists observe cyclists who make the choice to disobey traffic laws, which does not bode well for the cycling image as a whole. Drivers of automobiles have the impression that cyclists are above the law. Then what happens when a cyclist is struck by a car? The injured cyclist will most likely cite some law that the motorist either disobeyed or disregarded. It’s a double standard. If you want to use the laws as a means to protect yourself as a cyclist, then you should certainly be obeying those same laws. If a motorist accidentally strikes a triker because the motorist failed to yield to the triker’s right to take a lane when there is no shoulder, how can the triker in good conscience cry fowl if the triker himself has been running stop signs for the past five years? I feel this principle should be applied to all traffic laws that affect tricyclists. Follow the laws you expect motorists to follow for your protection. It leaves a good impression in the minds of drivers who see a tricyclist dutifully stop at all stop signs. Be an ambassador for all trike pilots out there, so when a driver who watched you follow the law sees the next triker, he will feel that people on trikes do what is right. Besides, on a trike, where your feet are attached to the pedals and you have three wheels, there is no need to undo the cleat and put a foot down, which is probably one reason why bicyclists rarely obey the law.
What STOP signs may as well be saying:
Click on sign, or HERE, to view cycling laws by state.
When a group of trikers are out pedaling around, they become ambassadors for the sport, our mode of silent transportation. What motorists see may result in positive or negative feelings, depending upon the riding style of the group. Being a great ambassador sends a quiet, yet powerful, message.