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Bicycles are Vehicles in PA

Pennsylvania Law

Bicycles have the same rights as cars in PA, but also have to follow the same laws.

  • Every person riding a bicycle on a roadway has all the rights and the duties as a driver of a vehicle.
  • The parent / guardian shall not permit a child to violate Pennsylvania law relating to the operation of bicycles.
  • A person riding a bicycle shall be seated across a permanent seat attached to the bicycle. The number of riders on a bicycle depends on the number of permanent seats available except when an adult rider transports a child in a bicycle child carrier which is securely attached to the bicycle or in a trailer that is towed by the bicycle.
  • Every person operating a bicycle upon a highway shall obey the applicable rules of the road.
  • A person riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk or bicycle path used by pedestrians shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing a pedestrian.
  • Children under 12 years of age driving a bicycle or riding as a passenger on a bicycle shall wear a bicycle helmet. This includes a child who rides in a bicycle child carrier attached to the bicycle or in a trailer.

Bicycle Safety Rules of the Road

  • Adjust the bicycle to fit you and inspect your bicycle to make sure it is working safely.
  • Ride on the right side of the road, with traffic.
  • Obey all traffic control devices, signs, and signals.
  • If you are riding with a group, ride in single file.
  • Slow down when approaching an intersection.
  • Always Look Left-Look Right-Look LEFT, then look over your shoulder before entering the intersection.
  • Watch for vehicles backing out of the driveway – look for tail lights, movement of the tires and listen for the car motor.
  • Know and use the bicycle hand signals to help communicate with other vehicles.

Be Seen

  • Be Predictable: Ride in a straight line, not in and out of cars and signal your moves to others.
  • Wear bright colored clothing and reflective tape or markings to help drivers to see you. Remember, just because you see the driver, it does not mean the driver sees you.
  • Avoid riding at night. Equip your bike with reflectors, a white headlight and a bell or a horn. PA Law requires a front white lamp, a rear red reflector and amber reflectors on each side of the bike when used from sunset to sunrise.

For a guide to selecting a bicycle helmet for your child, or detailed bicycle helmet information, please see the Bicycle Safety Website Resources.

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