Georgia Bicycle Laws
Traffic Laws Apply to Bicycles
- Bicyclists have the same rights and must obey the same laws as motor vehicles. DUI, reckless driving, red lights, stop signs, yield signs, and lane marking all apply to the operation of bicycles on the roadway. 19% of bicycle collisions are due to cyclists failing to obey red lights or stop/yield signs.
- Operation in Traffic Lanes - Bicycles must travel in the same direction as motor vehicle traffic, even when in a designated bike lane. Bicyclist shall ride as near as possible to the right side of the road except when a hazard or obstruction exist (OCGA 40-6-294) 15% of bicycle collisions are caused by cyclists riding against traffic.
- Passing Bicyclist - Motor vehicles must provide at least 3 feet of safe passing distance when passing a bicycle. (OCGA 40-6-56)
- Sidewalks - Bicycling on a sidewalk is illegal for anyone over the age of twelve (OCGA 40-6-397) 10% of collisions are caused by cyclist failing to yield entering roadways. Cyclists riding on a sidewalk have nearly twice the risk of a crash as those riding on the road.
- Riding abreast - Bicyclists may lawfully ride no more than two abreast on roadways. (OCGA 40-6-294)
- Aggressive Driving - Verbal and physical harassment of cyclists is illegal. Aggressive driving is considered a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. (OCGA 40-6-397 b)
- Bicycle Lanes - When a bicycle lane is provided motor vehicles shall yield to bicycles in the lane (OCGA 40-6-55)
- Passengers - No bicycle shall be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed (OCGA 40-6-292)
- Clinging to Vehicles - No person riding a bicycle shall attach the same or himself to any vehicles upon the roadway. (OCGA 40-6-293)
- Carrying Articles - No person operating a bicycle shall carry any package, bundle, or other article which prevents him from keeping at least one hand upon the handlebars. (OCGA 40-6-295)
No person under the age of 16 years shall operate or be a passenger on a bicycle on a highway, bicycle lane, or sidewalk without wearing a bicycle helmet. A bicycle helmet must meet or exceed the impact standards set by ANSI or Snell. The helmet must be a good fit and fastened securely upon such person’s head with the straps. Stickers indicating compliance can usually be found inside the helmet. (OCGA 40-6-296)
Bicycle Lighting & Signaling
- Turning Left - left hand and arm extended horizontally.
- Turning Right - by left hand and arm extended downward or by right hand and arm horizontally extended.
- Stop or Decrease Speed - by left hand and arm extended downward. (OCGA 40-6-125 and 40-6-291)
- Bicycle Lighting - When operated at night bicycles shall be equipped with a light on the front which shall emit a white light visible from a distance from 300 feet to the front and with a light on the back which shall emit a red light visible from a distance of 300 feet from the rear. Any bicycle equipped with a red reflector on the rear that is approved by the Department of Public Safety shall not be required to have a light on the rear of the bicycle. (OCGA 40-6-296) 10% of bicycle collisions are caused by bicycles not being properly lit.
- Brakes - Must be equipped with a brake which will enable the operator to make the braked wheel(s) skid on dry, level pavement. (OCGA 40-6-296)