New York Rules of the Road for Bicyclists

Bicycle parked near city street. Photo by Colin and Sarah Northway via Wikimedia Commons

Photo by Colin and Sarah Northway via Wikimedia Commons

Everyone who uses the roads in New York State – whether on four wheels, two wheels or two feet – would be safer understanding the rules for bicyclists.

  • Bicyclists must ride on the right shoulder or edge of the roadway, or in a bike lane whenever there is one available.
  • While bicyclists are allowed to ride two abreast, they must go single file if a vehicle is attempting to pass.
  • Clinging to a vehicle in any way is prohibited.
  • Bicyclists are only allowed to have one earphone while riding.
  • Helmets are required for bicyclists under the age of 14, and recommended for all riders because they can reduce injuries in the unfortunate event of an accident.
  • At night, New York requires a front light to be visible for 500 feet, and a rear light be visible from 300 feet. Less commonly known, one of the lights must be visible from the sides for two hundred feet.

While this quick guide provides some of the most important rules for bicyclists for their safety, the rules provided are not exhaustive. Bicycle riders should be acquainted with and follow the same rules as automobile drivers, whenever possible. This includes yielding to pedestrians when they have the right of way and keeping to the right side of the road.

Sharing the roadways – as well as understanding everyone’s respective rights and responsibilities – are essential factors in ensuring all travelers safely arrive at their destination.

For more information, take a look at our Question and Answer section.

N.Y. Veh. & Traf. Law § 1231 (McKinney). N.Y. Veh. & Traf. Law § 1231 (McKinney) and N.Y. Veh. & Traf. Law § 110 (McKinney). N.Y. Veh. & Traf. Law § 1234(a) (McKinney). N.Y. Veh. & Traf. Law § 1234(b) (McKinney). N.Y. Veh. & Traf. Law § 1233 (McKinney). N.Y. Veh. & Traf. Law § 375 24-a (McKinney). N.Y. Veh. & Traf. Law § 1236 (McKinney).

LaMarche Safranko Law Can Help

If you are are injured in a car accident while walking, jogging or riding a bicycle, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses and other losses. Skilled legal representation can help make sure you are compensated to the fullest extent possible, whether you choose to pursue a personal injury lawsuit or settle out-of-court. If you are injured in the Capital Region – in Albany, Schenectady, Troy, Clifton Park, Saratoga or elsewhere in the Capital District – please call the personal injury lawyers of Lamarche Safranko Law PLLC  for a free consultation.

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