Laws Relating to Bikes

City and State Law

There are tips and tricks and there are laws. We will start our safety education by going over the laws in Louisiana and the City of Shreveport regarding bicycles on the road. Let’s go!

Obeying Traffic Laws

Any person operating a bicycle shall obey the instructions of official traffic-control signals, signs and other control devices applicable to vehicles, unless otherwise directed by a police officer. Whenever authorized signs are erected indicating that no right, left or U-turn is permitted, no person operating a bicycle shall disobey the direction of any such sign, except where such person dismounts from the bicycle to make any such turn, in which event such person shall then obey the regulations applicable to pedestrians. Source: City of Shreveport Code of Ordinances Sec. 90-422 (link)

Helmet Law

Louisiana requires that any person under the age of 12 riding a bicycle, as an operator or passenger, must wear a protective bicycle helmet. Though a helmet is not required for those over 12 by the state, we encourage everyone to wear headgear when possible. Source: Louisiana State Law Rev. Stat. Ann. §32:199. (link)

Safe Passing (aka Three Feet Rule)

Louisiana requires that the operator of a motor vehicle, when overtaking and passing a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on the roadway, shall exercise due care while the motor vehicle is passing the bicycle and shall leave a safe distance between the motor vehicle and the bicycle of not less than three feet and shall maintain such clearance until safely past the overtaken bicycle. An operator of a motor vehicle may pass a bicycle traveling in the same direction in a no-passing zone only when it is safe to do so. Source: Louisiana State Law Rev. Stat. Ann. §32:76.1. (link)

Using Hand Signals

All signals will be given by hand and arm from the left side. Left Turn or Entering Roadway: hand and arm extended horizontally, with the hand open and the back of the hand to the rear. Right Turn: hand and arm extended upward at an angle of forty-five degrees from shoulder or elbow, with the hand open and the back of the hand to the rear. A bicyclist may also extend the right hand and arm horizontally with the hand open and back of the hand to the rear. Stop or Slow: hand and arm extended downward at an angle of forty-five degrees from shoulder or elbow, with the hand open and the back of the hand to the rear. Source: LA. Rev. Stat. Ann.§32:106.  (link)

Harassing Bicyclists

Louisiana law protects bicyclists by providing that it is unlawful to harass, taunt, or maliciously throw objects at or in the direction of any person riding a bicycle. Source: La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §32:201. (link)

Dooring Law

 Louisiana requires that no person open any door of a motor vehicle located on a highway without first taking precaution to ensure that this action does not interfere with the movement of traffic or endanger any other person or vehicle. In addition, no person shall leave open any door of a motor vehicle located on a highway for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers. Source: La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §32:283. (link)

Riding to the Right

Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the righthand side of the roadway as practicable, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction. Source: City of Shreveport Code of Ordinances Sec. 90-427; State Law Reference: R.S. 32:197. (link)

Using Lights at Night

Every bicycle, when in use at nighttime, shall be equipped with a lamp on the front which shall emit a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front and with a red lamp, flashing or static, which shall be visible from all distances within 500 feet. Source: State Law reference: R.S. 32:329.1. (link)

Sidewalk Riding

The City of Shreveport Code of Ordinances mandates that no person 15 or more years of age shall ride a bicycle upon any sidewalk in any district. Whenever any person is riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk, such person shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian. Source: City of Shreveport Code of Ordinances Sec. 90-434. (link)

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