North Metro Pedestrian Accident Attorney Shane Smith Explains Laws Relevant to Bicyclists in Georgia
Bicyclists just like other pedestrians have legal rights and obligations when they take to the road in Georgia. Unfortunately, there are far too many bicyclists that are injured and killed because of negligent drivers and others who fail to uphold their legal duty of care to others on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 2 percent of all deaths and injuries were sustained by bicyclists.
According to O.C.G.A. § 40-6-397 anyone who acts in any aggressive manner towards a bicyclist where they are annoying, harassing, intimidating, injurious or display similar behaviors may be guilty of aggressive driving. Persons convicted under this statute are guilty of a misdemeanor and may face fines and/or jail time.
Based on O.C.G.A. § 40-6-390 drivers may be charged and convicted of reckless driving if they operate their vehicle in a manner that has no regard for the safety of bicyclists or other persons or property.
O.C.G.A. § 16-11-43 prohibits all persons, including operators of motor vehicles from purposely or negligently blocking any sidewalk, road, highway or related public path of travel that makes the path of travel unable to be trafficked after having law enforcement specifically request the blockage to be removed. Persons convicted under this law will face a misdemeanor charge and possible fines and jail time if the violation is severe.
O.C.G.A. § 40-6-77 punishes guilty parties that injures a bicyclist and other legally recognized pedestrians when they are required by the law to yield the right of way to the pedestrian. Injuries can be serious and include losing a limb, causing paralysis, disfiguring a part of a bicyclist’s body or causing traumatic brain injuries that cause permanent damage to any related normal function. Depending on the offense, the severity of the injury and if the person is convicted, fines range from $250 to $1,000 and may include jail time.
O.C.G.A. § 40-6-270 punishes drivers who fail to report and stay at the scene of an accident. If a motor vehicle operator causes injuries or kills a bicyclist or related pedestrian is required by Georgia law to report that accident and stay as close as safely as possible. Drivers are required to submit the following information to law enforcement:
-- Their name, address and related information of the driver’s car involved in the accident
-- Inform the injured parties or appropriate third parties of the driver’s license information.
-- Give appropriate assistance to injured parties and call the appropriate medical and law enforcement officials as soon as possible.
If a person is convicted, the person may face substantial fines and serve jail time as part of the felony conviction.
While Georgia has many laws protecting pedestrians, law enforcement cannot be everywhere and not every single driver takes their duty of care while driving seriously. When they break their duty of care through negligence, bicyclists can become injured or even killed. If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed due to an at-fault motor vehicle operator, you may have a case. Call the Law Offices of Shane Smith to speak with a North Metro pedestrian accident lawyer at (770) 487-8999 today!