Washington State Bicycle Laws
With the price of gas seeming to go higher every day, it’s understandable that many people are choosing to take other means of transportation to get from point A to point B. Many people are making the choice to ride a bicycle if their destination is within a reasonable distance. If you are one of these people, it is important that you clearly understand the rules of the road when it comes to biking in Washington State. Remember, as a cyclist you have the same rights and responsibilities as the driver next to you!
It may come as a surprise, but there is actually no state law requiring the use of a helmet. BUT many cities/counties have their own laws that requires a helmet. Make sure you fully understand the helmet law wherever it is that you’re biking.
Riding on the Road
This is an important rule to remember, you are held accountable for the same rules on the road as someone who is driving in a car. Cyclists can be pulled over and ticketed for the same violations.
Roads Closed to Cyclists
For the safety of bicyclists, many state highways have restricted riding access on them. You can go to www.wsdot.wa.gov to view bicycle laws and access to the different highways around the state. Also, you should check with your local city ordinances to make sure biking is allowed in all business districts, sidewalks and all roads.
Riding Side by Side
When riding along side with another cyclist, it is regulated to be no more than two riders.
Riding at Night
When riding a bicycle at night, to ensure a cyclists safety as much as possible, there are a few rules that must be followed. The bike must have a white light mounted to the front that is visible up to 500 feet, as well as a red rear reflector. For added protection, a rear red light may be used as well.
Shoulder vs. Bike Lane
As a cyclist, it is your choice whether you choose to ride on the path, shoulder, bike lane or travel lane if you feel you can keep up with the flow of traffic.