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NYC Biking - Rules of the Road

From the NY DMV

For more information, we encourage you to also visit TA for the most current resources:
http://www.transalt.org/resources/laws

BICYCLISTS AND IN-LINE SKATERS

Bicyclists and in-line skaters have the right to share the road and travel in the same direction as motor vehicles. Like pedestrians, bicyclists and in-line skaters are often difficult to notice in traffic, and they have little protection from a traffic crash. When driving a motor vehicle, be sure to check your vehicle's "blind spots" before you parallel park, or open a driver's side door, or leave a curb. Don't rely only on your rearview mirrors - turn your head to look for bicyclists and in-line skaters that may be alongside or approaching.

When driving, approach bicyclists and in-line skaters with extreme caution. Give them room and slow down as you pass them. Air pressure from a quickly passing vehicle can throw them off balance.

Be aware that the bicyclist or in-line skater near or in front of you may react to road hazards just as a motorcyclist would and suddenly change speed, direction, or lane position.

The rules of the road and right-of-way apply to, and protect, bicyclists and in-line skaters. You must yield the right-of-way to them just as you would to another vehicle. Bicyclists in-line skaters must obey the rules of the road, just as vehicle drivers d

Bicyclists and in-line skaters must:

  • Wear an approved helmet if age one through 13 years old.
  • Obey any local laws or regulations concerning helmet use for adults.
  • Ride in a bicycle lane, if a usable one is available. Where there is none, the bicyclist must ride near the right curb or edge of the road, or on a usable right shoulder of the road, to avoid undue interference with other traffic. The rule of staying to the right does not apply when a bicyclist or in-line skater is preparing for a left turn or must move left to avoid hazards.
  • Come to a full stop before entering a roadway from a driveway, alley or over a curb.
  • Never travel with more than two abreast in a single lane.
  • Never ride on a sidewalk if local laws prohibit it.

Bicyclists also must:

  • Signal turns, lane changes and stops using the hand signals shown. A bicyclist may signal a right turn by extending the right arm straight out to the right, instead of using the standard signal for car drivers. Never carry an infant under a year old as a passenger. It is against the law. The law also requires child passengers one through four years old wear approved bicycle safety helmets and ride in securely attached bicycle safety seats.
Diagram - Hand signals for bicyclists
  • Never carry a passenger unless the bicycle has a passenger seat.

  • Keep at least one hand on the handlebars at all times, and not carry anything which interferes with proper control of the bicycle.

  • Report to DMV within 10 days of the incident, any bicycle crash that results in death or serious injury. Bicycle accident report forms are available at any motor vehicle office.

A bicycle driven on public highways must be equipped with adequate brakes and a horn or bell that can be heard at least 100 feet (30 m) away. A bicycle used at night must have a headlight visible from at least 500 feet (150 m) ahead and a red taillight visible from at least 300 feet (90 m) behind. One of these lights must also be visible from at least 200 feet (60 m) away on each side. A bicycle sold by a dealer must have wide-angle, spoke-mounted reflectors or reflective tires, a wide-angle rear reflector and pedal reflectors.


NYC Traffic Rules and Regulations

 For the full story ---  http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/pdf/trafrule.pdf

 

Excerpts which mention bicycles:

 

- definition.............................................................................................................. 4-01(b)

- lanes................................................................................................................... 4-12(p)

- on sidewalks................................................................................................ 4-07(c)(3)(i)

- one-way streets.............................................................................................. 4-12(p)(3)

- roadways prohibited on.................................................................................. 4-12(o)(1)

 

 

4-01

(b) Definitions. The following words and phrases, when used in these rules, shall, for

the purpose of these rules, have the meanings respectively ascribed to them as follows:

Bicycle. Every two- or three-wheeled device upon which a person or persons

may ride, propelled by human power through a belt, a chain or gears, with such

wheels in a tandem or tricycle, except that it shall not include such a device

having solid tires and intended for use only on a sidewalk by pre-teenage

children.

 

4-07

c) Restrictions on crossing sidewalks.

(1) Driveways. No person shall drive within any sidewalk area except at a

permanent or temporary driveway.

(2) Avoiding intersections. No person shall drive across a sidewalk or upon a

driveway in order to avoid an intersection.

(3) Bicycles and limited use vehicles.

(i) No person shall ride or operate a bicycle upon any sidewalk area

unless permitted by sign. This prohibition shall not apply to the operation

of bicycles with wheels of less than 26 inches in diameter upon the

sidewalk by children of 12 years or less in age.

(ii) No person shall ride, park or operate a limited use vehicle within any

sidewalk area except where permitted by sign. This prohibition shall not

apply to the pushing of a limited use vehicle within a sidewalk area or to

the pushing of such a vehicle to an authorized parking area.

 

 

 

 

4-12

(o) Use of roadways.

(1) Pedestrians, horses, bicycles and limited use vehicles prohibited. In

order to provide for the maximum safe use of the expressways, drives, highways,

interstate routes, bridges and thruways set forth in §4-07 subdivision (i) of these

rules and to preserve life and limb thereon, the use of such highways by

pedestrians, riders of horses and operators of limited use vehicles and bicycles is

prohibited, unless signs permit such use.

(2) Flat tires. No operator shall stop on the improved or paved roadway of any

of the arteries set forth in §4-07 subdivision (i) of these rules, for the purpose of

removing or replacing a flat tire. No person shall remove or replace a flat tire

unless the vehicle is completely off the improved or paved roadway so that no

part of the vehicle or person is exposed to passing vehicles.

(p) Bicycles

(1) Bicycle riders to use bicycle lanes. Whenever a usable path or lane for

bicycles has been provided, bicycle riders shall use such path or lane only except

under any of the following situations:

(i) When preparing for a turn at an intersection or into a private road or

driveway.

(ii) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including but not

limited to, fixed or moving objects, motor vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians,

pushcarts, animals, surface hazards) that make it unsafe to continue

within such bicycle path or lane.

(2) Driving on or across bicycle lanes prohibited. No person shall drive a

vehicle on or across a designated bicycle lane, except when it is reasonable and

necessary:

(i) to enter or leave a driveway; or

(ii) to enter or leave a legal curbside parking space; or

Section 4-12

53

(iii) to cross an intersection; or

(iv) to make a turn within an intersection; or

(v) to comply with the direction of any law enforcement officer or other

person authorized to enforce this rule; or

(vi) to avoid an obstacle which leaves fewer than ten feet available for

the free movement of vehicular traffic.

Notwithstanding any other rule, no person shall drive a vehicle on or across a

designated bicycle lane in such manner as to interfere with the safety and

passage of persons operating bicycles thereon.

(3) Bicycles permitted on both sides of 40-foot wide one-way roadways.

Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway that carries traffic in one

direction only and is at least 40 feet wide may ride as near as is practicable to

either the left or the right hand curb or edge of such roadway, provided that

bicycles are not prohibited from using said roadway.

 
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244 & 250 Lafayette St.
New York, NY 10012
ph (212) 431-3315

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