Pennsylvania Bicycle Accidents Lawyers — 10 PA Bike Laws Cyclists Should Know

Date: May 22, 2020
Posted In: In The Community | Press

Pennsylvania Bicycle Accidents Lawyers

Every year more and more people are riding bicycles on Pennsylvania’s roadways.  There are several reasons for the increase in ridership, most notably, fitness, recreation and alternative transportation for those concerned about energy conservation and reducing pollution.  Regardless of why there are more bicycles on the road, motorists need to understand that they need to share the road with bicyclists.  Pennsylvania motor vehicle laws prescribe rules for motorists and bicyclists to ensure the safety of everyone using the Commonwealth’s roadways.

Pennsylvania Bicycle Laws

Some of the most important laws that motorist and bicyclists need to be aware of include:

1. Bikes may be ridden on the shoulder of the road or in the right lane of the roadway (in the same direction as the flow of motor vehicle traffic);

2. Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast (side-by-side), unless on paths or parts of a roadway set aside exclusively for bicycles;

3. Motor vehicles must allow at least 4 feet of distance when overtaking a bicycle and travel at a careful, prudent speed.  It is the motorist’s responsibility to provide this distance, not that of the bicyclist;

4. No person shall open any door on a motor vehicle unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with traffic flow;

  • Cyclists may be injured or killed when a door is opened in their lane of travel.  Therefore, a distance of 4 feet should be kept between parked motor vehicles and the line of travel when riding along parked vehicles;

5. Helmets are required to be worn by all cyclists under the age of 12.  The PA DOT strongly recommends that helmets be worn by all cyclists.

6. Motorists are not required to yield to bicycles being ridden across a crosswalk (at a trail crossing for example) as the bicycle is treated as a vehicle.  A better choice is to dismount and walk your bike across.

7. Bikes are not permitted to be ridden on a sidewalk in a business district or where there is a bicycle-only lane available.

8. Cyclists must obey all traffic signals in accordance with standard motor vehicle laws.

9. If riding your bike between sunset and sunrise, it must be equipped with a front lamp and rear and side reflectors that are visible from at least 500 feet away.

10. Pedestrians have the right-of-way on a sidewalk.  Cyclists must give an audible signal when approaching and passing a pedestrian.

Maintaining visibility is the most important way to avoid a bicycle accident.   In addition to obeying all Pennsylvania vehicle laws, bicyclists should also always wear bright clothing and use hand signals to alert motorists of their intended path of travel.

Pennsylvania’s Leading Bicycle Crash Attorneys

The attorneys at Dougherty Leventhal & Price, LLP have been representing bicycle riders who suffer serious injuries due to the negligence and carelessness of others for over 40 years in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania.  If you or a loved one are injured in a bicycle accident, call one of the attorneys at DLP now for a free consultation. Remember: Injury? Call DLP! (570) C-A-L-L-D-L-P.

John Finnerty
Attorney Finnerty has been representing clients in Northeastern Pennsylvania as an Attorney with Dougherty Leventhal & Price, LLP for over 25 years.