What are the bicycle laws in NYC?

Written by
Abraham Jaros
|
Updated on Sunday, Sep 10, 2023

Thousands of people ride bikes to get around New York City each day. And while bicycle accidents are a real risk, generally biking is a very efficient way to get to where you need to go and get some exercise along the way.
NYC Bicycle Laws

  • Due to the amount of pedestrian traffic on sidewalks, bicycles must ride in the street unless the bicyclist is under 12 years of age.
  • It is also important for bicyclists to follow the same traffic patterns as motor vehicle traffic. That means bicyclists should be riding with the flow of traffic and not against it.
  • According to The NYC Department of Transportation, every bicyclist under the age of 13 must wear a helmet by law.
  • Bicyclists should adhere to the motor vehicle traffic lights, unless there is a sign notifying them to follow the pedestrian lights.
  • New York City also has a variety of marked bicycle paths. It is important that bicyclists use these paths when they are available, unless a cyclist is turning or there is some other factor making the bike lane unsafe.

How else can I stay safe on NYC roads? Make sure that you have a white headlight and a red tail light, and that these are on at all times, not just when it is dark. Having a loud bell or horn as well as plenty of reflective material both on the bike and on your clothing will help drivers notice you.

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