Seattle Bicycle Laws and Regulations: What You Need to Know

This upcoming May 15th is Bike to Work Day in Seattle! We would love to encourage everyone to participate in this fun event which promotes a healthy active lifestyle. With over 240 miles of bike trails surrounding the emerald city, we live in a great place to commute in an eco friendly and healthy way. In fact, of the 25 largest US cities, Seattle has the largest percentage of people commuting by bicycle! Let’s keep Seattle at number 1! This being said we would like to educate everyone on the rules and regulations surrounding Seattle biking so your commute can be as efficient and safe as possible

 

RIDING ON ROADWAYS

  • Every rider must wear a helmet regardless of age
  • Every person operating a bicycle on a roadway at a speed slower than the normal and reasonable flow traffic should ride as near to the right side of the lane as is safe.
  • It may be appropriate to deviate while preparing to make or while making turning movements, or while overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
  • A person operating a bicycle on a one way street that has two or more marked traffic lanes may ride as near to the left side lane as is safe.
  • A person operating a bicycle upon a roadway may utilize the shoulder of the roadway or any specifically designated bicycle lane if such exists.

RIDING MORE THAN TWO ABREAST (side by side) PROHIBITED

  • Persons operating bicycles upon a roadway or sidewalk shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.

HAND SIGNALS

  • Given continuously during the last one hundred feet traveled by the bicycle before initiation of a turn, unless during the last one hundred feet both hands are needed to control or operate the bicycle.
  • Left turn: left hand and arm extended horizontally beyond the side of the bicycle.
  • Right Turn: left hand and arm extended upward beyond the side of the bicycle, or right hand and arm extended horizontally to the right side of the bicycle.
  • Stop or decrease speed: Left hand and arm extended downward beyond the side of the bicycle.

CONTROL

  • No person operating a bicycle shall carry any package, bundle or article which prevents him from keeping at least one hand upon the handlebars, nor shall he operate the bicycle at any time without keeping at least one hand upon the handlebars.

LAMPS AND REFLECTORS ON BICYCLES

  • Every bicycle, when in use during the hours of darkness, shall be equipped with a lamp on the front, 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 seat of a type approved by the State Commission on Equipment, which shall be visible at all distances up to six hundred feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful lower beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle. A lamp emitting a red light visible from a distance of five hundred feet to the rear may be used in addition to the red reflector.
  • No person shall use a bicycle to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped, except that a person eighteen years of age or older may carry a child securely attached to his person.

RIGHT-OF-WAY IN CROSSWALK

  • A person operating a bicycle across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk shall have all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances

RIDING ON A SIDEWALK OR PUBLIC PATH

  • Every person operating a bicycle upon a sidewalk or public path shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian thereon, and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing any pedestrian.

 

With spring and summer approaching, it’s the perfect time to get out and enjoy the weather while being active. Help us keep Seattle the best bike commuter city in the US. See what it’s all about Friday May, 15th, 2015.

For more information check out: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/bikeprogram.htm

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