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Texas Bicycle Laws

If you’re an avid or even an occasional bicyclist, it’s important to know the rules of the road so that you not only remain safe, but follow the law. Here is a breakdown of some of the laws that bicyclists have to follow in Texas. 

Bicyclists Have All Rights and Duties of Other Vehicles 

What this means is that in terms of traffic laws and responsibilities, a bicyclist is treated the same as a car, truck or any other vehicle. This means they have a responsibility to abide by all normal traffic laws such as stopping at red lights and stop signs. They also have the same right of way that other vehicles are granted when in traffic as well. 

Ride Against the Curb, Flowing With Traffic

When a bicyclist is traveling down a roadway that does not have an assigned bike lane, they must travel along the road as close to the right side curb as possible within reason, always moving in the same direction as the flow of traffic. 

This is with the exception of when passing another vehicle or when safety hazards make it impossible to ride the curb, in which case the bicyclist may use the roadway.  

Additionally, when turning left or when on a one way street, the cyclist is allowed to use the left side of the road to travel so long as another vehicle can safely travel down the street beside them and they do not impede the flow of traffic. 

Driver Must Keep at Least One Hand On Handlebars 

While this may seem obvious, any driver of a bicycle must always have at least one hand remaining on the handlebars at all times. In general it is advised to always keep two hands on the handlebars for safety purposes except when signaling using hand signals. 

Use Hand Signals to Designate Intentions 

When operating a bicycle without applicable turn signals (the kind found on motorized vehicles) the operator must use hand and arm signals to denote intentions to traffic such as changing lanes or turning. 

One Rider Per Seat, Only Use Designated Bike Seats 

Riders are only allowed to ride with one rider per saddle or seat and seats must be approved bike seats specified for the vehicle in question. Riders may also not operate the vehicle while carrying an object which would preclude proper operation of the vehicle or affix said bicycle to any other vehicle, including motorized vehicles. 

Cyclists May Ride Two Abreast 

When traveling on a roadway that is not a designated bike lane, cyclists may ride two abreast (side by side) so long as doing so does not interfere with traffic. If on a bike lane this limitation does not apply. Cyclists are also meant to keep in a line along the curb even when riding two abreast. 

Use Proper Safety Gear 

All bicycles ridden on roads must include a white safety light on the front, visible from at least 500 feet. The rear of the vehicle must also include a red safety reflector or red light visible from a distance as well. 

Cycles Must Possess Skid Brakes 

Safety law requires that all bicycles possess a braking mechanism that causes the wheel to skid when stopped. To test brake equipment, apply brakes on a level, flat, and dry surface and check to see if the braked wheel skids. 

We have listed here many of the common laws regarding cycling in Texas, however these laws may be updated or changed at any time. Always check with local authorities about current bike laws.