New Bike Laws Going Into Effect on October 1.
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By Maryland law, bicycles are vehicles, and bicyclists have
the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of motor
vehicles – but bicycles are less visible, quieter, and don’t
have a protective barrier around them. Motorists should
drive carefully around a bicyclist; even a slight mistake can
result in death. Bicyclists fare best when they act like and
are treated as drivers of vehicles.
Do your part by being a safe and courteous motorist. Download our booket, Bicycle Safety: It's a Two-Way Street, for suggestions to help motorists share the road
For Drivers, see these tips in action in this video on Sharing the Road, produced by the League of Illinois Bicyclists.
For adult bicyclists, learn how you can improve your bicycling skills by watching Competence and Confidence: A Bicycling Guide for Adults produced by the Maryland Department of Transportation, and hosted by One Less Car
For kids (and parents), learn about you, your bicycle, and the rules of the road with NHTSA’s Bike Safe, Bike Smart
- On average, 7 people are killed and another 650 people are injured in bicycle-related crashes. In Maryland.
- Most crashes occurred during daylight hours between the months of May and September.
- Helmets are required for everyone under the age of 16, including passengers, who ride their bicycles on the road, bicycle paths, or any public property.
- Helmets are also required for everyone under the age of 16 who are riding on a scooter or on in-line skates.
- The helmets must meet or exceed the standards of the American National Standards Institute, the Snell Memorial Foundation, or the American Society of Testing and Measurements. (TR § 21-1207.1 et seq)
For tips on properly fitting and wearing a bicycle helmet, watch this video from NHTSA. En Español
Watch this great video on bicycle law enforcement from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), featuring Department of Maryland State Police Sergeant Chris Davala.
- Maryland’s traffic laws apply to bicycles and motor scooters.
- A bicycle may not carry a passenger unless it is specifically designed for and equipped with a seat for each passenger.
- A person may not ride a bicycle, motor scooter, or EPAMD while wearing a headset or earplugs that cover both ears.
- Bicycles are vehicles and as such must obey all the same traffic laws, including stopping at red lights, stop signs, etc.
- Where there is a bike lane or paved shoulder, a person must use those and not ride a bicycle or motor scooter in the roadway except:
- If passing safely cannot be done within the bike lane or shoulder;
- When preparing for a left turn;
- To avoid hazards;
Tips for Drivers
- Leave at least three feet of passing space between the right side of your vehicle and a bicyclist.
- Reduce your speed when passing a cyclist, especially if the roadway is narrow.
- Children on bicycles are often unpredictable in their actions. Expect the unexpected.
For the cyclist
- Ride in the same direction as traffic.
- Cyclists are subject to the same rules and regulations as motor vehicles.
- Obey all road signs and signals.
- Wear your helmet correctly – at the front of the head and not tilted back.
- Wear reflective gear after dark and have a light on your bike.