Colorado law finally and legally defines a bicycle lane and gives bike riders (and other authorized bike lane users) the right of way in all circumstances. Colorado’s new “Bike Lane Law” also prohibits blocking and parking in the bicycle lane. In fact, the drivers who are caught blocking the bicycle lane can be fined $70 and get 3 points on their driver’s license. Another part of the new law provides that if a motor vehicle is blocking the bike lane and is the cause an injury to the bike rider then the driver of that vehicle is subject to charges of careless driving because of this law.
Here is Colorado’s first ever legal definition of “Bicycle lane:”
“Bicycle lane” means a portion of the roadway that has been designated by striping, signage, or pavement markings for the exclusive use of bicyclists and other authorized users of bicycle lanes. “Bicycle lane” includes an intersection if the bicycle lane is marked on opposite sides of the intersection.”
Colorado Revised Statutes 42-1-102(10.3)
This is important to bike riders as we NOW have the absolute right of way to continue straight through an intersection from one side of the street to the other side. This “Bike Lane Law” clarifies that motor vehicles turning right or left need to yield to bicycle riders. Even though Colorado law still requires turning vehicles to yield the right-of-way, this was not always the case in many bike crashes as insurance companies argued that the bike riders had a responsibility to slow down or avoid turning vehicles. From now on, we will use Colorado’s new “Bike Lane Law” as a sword to stop insurance companies from claiming the cyclist has fault when they use the bike lane as expected.
Lastly, the new “Bike Lane Law” says authorized bike lane users can use the bike lanes like bike riders. This would cover electric scooters and electric wheelchairs that can legally use bike lanes. In Denver, the law tells the electric scooters riders to follow the same laws as bicyclists, so the electric scooters riders will also benefits from this new law.
If you have any questions about the new “Bike Lane Law”, please email Brian@DenverBicycleLaw.com