AgentR11 wrote:The law says bikes belong on the road, in the right hand lane, "as far to the right as practicable". Other, less intelligent states may vary from this rule.
The truly bicycle friendly states and districts allow bicyclists the exact same rights as motorists - these states and districts are Indiana, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Washington DC. Every other state has the discriminatory 'far to the right' laws you mention, which many cycling advocates are attempting to overturn. The problem is not really that 'as far to the right as practicable' is a bad law. The problem is that it keeps getting interpreted incorrectly by police, who often put cyclists in jail for fictitious laws such as "riding on the roadway" and "not cycling as far right as possible" because they do not understand the meaning of the word 'practicable', nor do they understand what is actually practicable for a cyclist in terms of how far right it's safe to operate. In many cases, the way it's interpreted in practice by law enforcement officers actually criminalizes cyclists unless they follow risky behaviors such as riding in the gutter or on a debris-strewn shoulder, or even criminal behaviors such as riding on the sidewalk.
These 'FTR' laws as they are called, cost states thousands in court fees and waste justice system time on cases that (unless the judge is singularly incompetent) usually end up being thrown out. Occasionally, they end up resulting in police being charged with assault, as happened in Ohio a couple of years back, when a police officer tased a cyclist who insisted on contravening the Ohio statute that makes it illegal to ride a bicycle on the road. There is, of course, no such statute. The man who was tased won a settlement in a civil suit that claimed the police used excessive force and were guilty of negligence, assault and battery, false arrest and false imprisonment. You can see the full story (it's a classic) here:
http://www.bicycling.com/news/advocacy/ ... -says-stop
http://www.ohiobikelawyer.com/uncategor ... s-lawsuit/
The worst state in the Union is probably Alaska, which effectively legalizes road rage and in which cyclists can be cited for not moving out of a honking driver's way. I'm just glad I don't live there.