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Insight from WFPD: Common question on biking rules

Frequently, the members of the Police Department are asked about the rules relating to bikes and bicyclists. Here is a review of the specific ordinances, which cover the most commonly asked questions.

Bicyclists are granted the same rights as any other vehicle operated on the roadway, but also must follow the same rules.

13-1810. TRAFFIC LAWS APPLY TO PERSONS RIDING BICYCLE OR TRICYCLE. Every person riding a bicycle or tricycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by the laws of this state, declaring rules of the road applicable to vehicle or by the traffic ordinances of this city applicable to the driver of a vehicle, except as to special regulations in this chapter and exempt as to those provisions of laws and ordinances which by their nature have no application.

A person riding a bicycle must come to a full and complete stop at a stop sign or stop light as well as follow any direction providing by the use of another sign.


1. Any person operating a bicycle or tricycle shall obey the instructions of the official traffic-control signals, signs and other control devices applicable to vehicles, unless otherwise directed by a police officer;

Bicyclists cannot give rides to another person unless the other person rides upon a permanently affixed seat designed to carry that person.


1. A person propelling a bicycle shall not ride other than astride a permanent and regular seat attached thereto;

2. No bicycle shall be used to carry more persons at one time than the number which it is designed or equipped.

Bicyclists are to ride to the right side of the roadway similar to the requirements of the driver of a motor vehicle.


1. Every person operating a bicycle or tricycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction;

2. Persons riding bicycles or tricycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles or tricycles;

3. Wherever a usable path for bicycles or tricycles has been provided adjacent to a roadway, bicycle or tricycle riders shall use such path and shall not use the roadway.

Stating the obvious but a bicyclist must have at least one hand available to control the bicycle.

13-1816. CARRYING ARTICLES. No person operating a bicycle shall carry a package, bundle or article which prevents the rider from keeping at least one hand upon the handlebars, or carry any package, bundle or article which prevents the forward vision of the operator.

Riding a bicycle after dark can be dangerous if the rider cannot be seen. Bicycles are required to display lighted lamps after the hours of darkness. Riders are also encouraged to wear bright or reflective clothing.


1. Every bicycle when in use at night time shall be equipped with a lamp on the front of which shall emit a white light visible from a distance of at least five hundred feet to the front and with a red reflector on the rear of a type approved by the Motor Vehicle Department. A lamp emitting red light visible from a distance of five hundred feet to the rear may be used in addition to the red reflector.

2. Every bicycle shall be equipped with a brake which will enable the operator make the braked wheel skid on dry, level and clean pavement.

Vehicle operators and bicyclists can share the roadway by following the basic rules of the road. Be alert to changing conditions and be courteous to other drivers. Enjoy the summer.