You know the rules of the road when you’re out riding. Maybe you even teach bike skills as a League Cycling Instructor. But do you know all the bicycling laws in your state?
Since coming to the League in August, I’ve reviewed more than 2,000 laws related to bicycling. From planning and taxation to funding and traffic, I dusted off and dug in to statutes and administrative codes in each and every state. By researching those primary sources and tapping into great resources compiled by bicycling organizations and agencies, I was able to pull together a comprehensive database of laws.
The first product of this research: State-specific highlights of traffic laws that affect bicyclists.
There are plenty of laws shared by all states; and plenty of laws that are intuitive for both bicyclists and other road users. Our highlights focus on eleven categories of laws that most states have, but differ in ways that can have important impacts on bicyclists and other road users.
These highlights are meant to help bicyclists go beyond knowing the rules of the road and understand the laws that are significant to bike advocacy efforts. While not comprehensive, they provide easy access to the laws of all 50 states and the District of Columbia and are supplemented by updated links to comprehensive state and local advocate legal resources.
Throughout my research I found incredible lawyers, legislators, and bike advocates working hard to make sure the law works for bicyclists. Now that we have a large data set regarding laws for bicyclists throughout the country, we will not only be a hub for best practices but work with you to get model, bike-friendly legislation passed in your state. By combining the passion and knowledge of the legal and bicycling community, we hope to not only ensure that you know your rights and responsibilities on the road – but that laws contribute to making biking better.
Look forward to more blog posts highlighting advocate-backed legal innovations and discussing legal issues soon. In the meantime, see how your state stacks up at bikeleague.org/bikelaws.
Photo: League Cycling Instructor training in Portland, Maine, by Jeff Scher
Ken McLeodKen joined the League in 2012 after graduating from William & Mary School of Law. He is a licensed attorney in the state of Virginia. During law school he worked for a private law firm in Cambodia and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. Prior to that, Ken worked at a law firm in Orange County and a legal services provider in Seattle. He graduated from Pomona College in 2007 with a BA in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. He began using his bike regularly after college and has been car-free since February 2012.
Legal Specialist, Advocacy Advance