Posts Tagged ‘highway code’


US Cycle Law

Friday September 19, 2008

I think we in the UK have it pretty easy!  Having previously checked out our cycle laws, I thought I’d have a quick look at the cycle law in the United States… it’s not quite as straight forward as over here.

Although I haven’t read and compared each, most States have their own cycle laws – as shown by MassBike’s State Law page.  Hmm, it all looks pretty complex.  But, I suppose if you live in one State then you’re just going to ride in your locality.  I doubt the laws really change too much state by state but you never know…  I wonder if the people who cycle the US, coast to coast, actually check out the changing laws along their route?

I like this one in Massachusetts, seems fair:

You may ride on sidewalks outside business districts, unless local laws prohibit sidewalk riding.

I do, however, prefer the simplicity of the UK Highway Code – it can’t get much clearer than that little book.


Cycling and the UK Law

Monday August 4, 2008

Whilst reading up on the legal requirements for bike lights, I found the Highway Code’s section on Rules for Cyclists.

It gives a lot of advice but the following are Law.


At night your cycle MUST have white front and red rear lights lit. It MUST also be fitted with a red rear reflector (and amber pedal reflectors, if manufactured after 1/10/85). White front reflectors and spoke reflectors will also help you to be seen. Flashing lights are permitted but it is recommended that cyclists who are riding in areas without street lighting use a steady front lamp. 

[Law RVLR regs 13, 18 & 24)]


You MUST NOT cycle on a pavement.

[Laws HA 1835 sect 72 & R(S)A 1984, sect 129]



  • carry a passenger unless your cycle has been built or adapted to carry one
  • hold onto a moving vehicle or trailer
  • ride in a dangerous, careless or inconsiderate manner
  • ride when under the influence of drink or drugs, including medicine

[Law RTA 1988 sects 24, 26, 28, 29 & 30 as amended by RTA 1991]


You MUST obey all traffic signs and traffic light signals.

[Laws RTA 1988 sect 36 & TSRGD reg 10(1)]


You MUST NOT cross the stop line when the traffic lights are red. Some junctions have an advanced stop line to enable you to wait and position yourself ahead of other traffic (see Rule 178).

[Laws RTA 1988 sect 36 & TSRGD regs 10 & 36(1)]


Cycle-only crossings. Cycle tracks on opposite sides of the road may be linked by signalled crossings. You may ride across but you MUST NOT cross until the green cycle symbol is showing.

[Law TSRGD regs 33(2) & 36(1)]


Obviously you should also read all the other sections of the Highway Code too!

The above laws were copied from the Directgov website on the 2nd of August 2008.  Always check the official Highway Code for the latest applicable laws.

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