Bicyclist in crosswalk.
NM and most state law does not expressly address the issue of vehicles (remember, bicycles are legally vehicles) using crosswalks to cross the street.
The law does require “drivers” to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. The intention is pretty clear that vehicles should not use crosswalks. The common sense approach, is to choose whether to act as a vehicle or as a pedestrian and then stick with that choice:
If you are riding your bicycle in the road, then you are operating as a vehicle, and should not use crosswalks to cross intersections. You should remain in proper position to cross the intersection with other vehicular traffic.
You could dismount, walk over to the crosswalk, walk your bike across, then walk back over into the road and remount, but we do not advise that because it puts you at risk from turning vehicles while in the crosswalk, you may have to merge back into moving traffic on the other side of the street (and cars are not expecting you to do that from a crosswalk), and it makes you unpredictable – no one will know for sure what you intend to do.
The little “jog” to the right (into or near the crosswalk) that we see many bicyclists do before running a red light does not somehow make it OK – it is still running a red light (as well as being dangerous for all of the above reasons and potentially conflicting with pedestrians). A mounted bicyclist in the roadway is a vehicle and must obey the rules and signals.
If you are riding your bicycle on the sidewalk where it is legal to do so. Once you enter the street on the crosswalk you are operating a vehicle. It is safer to walk your bike across the street to avoid conflicts with pedestrians and turning cars that might not be looking for bicyclists in crosswalks.
- Bicycle Safety Guidelines
-Wear a bicycle helmet.
-Ride with the traffic flow.
-Ride to the right if you are moving more slowly than other traffic,
unless you are turning left, passing another bicycle or vehicle, or avoiding hazards.
-Stop at stop signs and red lights.
-Use a light, reflectors and reflective clothing during darkness and wear bright clothing during the daytime.
-Keep a safe distance from parked cars.
-Use proper hand signals when turning, stopping or changing lanes.
-Use extra caution when it is raining, and allow extra time to stop.
-Cross railroad tracks at a right angle.
-Walk your bike when using a crosswalk.
-Keep your bike properly maintained so it is safe.
-Do not drink and ride. And ride defensively.
-Use hand signals.
-Be alert for road hazards.
-Watch for cars at cross streets and driveways.
-Obey all traffic signals.
-Use lights at night.
-Be aware of parked cars and watch for car doors that may open.
-Give pedestrians the right of way.
SAFETY GUIDE FOR CAMPUS BICYCLE USE
Share the roadway and walkways
Slow down when riding near pedestrians
Ride predictably & signal your intentions
Follow traffic laws on roads and sidewalks
Park & secure your bike in a bike rack
Wear a bicycle helmet and avoid collisions