Free Consultation Se Habla Español



Must Know Laws for Georgia Cyclists 

Did you know that bicycles are legally classified as vehicles in the state of Georgia? Many people are not aware of this, just like they may not be aware of other important laws related to bicycling throughout the state. Here, we want to review some of the most pertinent laws you need to know before hitting the roadway on your bicycle, but please understand that there are certainly other laws we do not cover in this article. Our Coweta County personal injury attorneys encourage you to familiarize yourself with all bicycle laws in your particular area of the state.

Where You Can Ride

Even though bicycles are considered vehicles under Georgia law, there are expectations about where bicyclists can ride. Specifically, we encourage bicyclists to keep the following in mind:

  • They should ride as near to the right of the roadway as practicable if they are riding below the posted speed limit. There are exceptions to this in certain circumstances, including overtaking vehicles, avoiding obstacles, turning, or when the lane is of substandard size.
  • Bicyclists should operate in the same direction as the flow of traffic, even in bicycle lanes.
  • Bicyclists over the age of 12 are not allowed to operate on sidewalks unless local ordinances allow them to do so.
  • Bicycle lanes in Georgia are to be used only by bicyclists, though bicyclists are not required to use them unless local ordinances require them to do so. Vehicles must yield to bicyclists within a bike lane on the road.

Riding Properly

Bicyclists should take care not to ride more than two abreast (side by side) unless they are on a roadway or on paths set aside for bicycles. Bicyclists should slow down and come to a complete stop when they approach stop signs or stop lights. Additionally, bicyclists must use hand signals when turning or coming to a stop.

Bicyclists should only pass motor vehicles on the right if conditions permit them to do so safely and without riding off of the roadway.

Bicycle Equipment

When examining the necessary equipment for bicyclists, we should start with helmets. In the state of Georgia, any bicyclist under the age of 16 is required to wear a properly fastened helmet. Those 16 years of age and older are not required to wear a helmet but are strongly encouraged to do so anyway.

At nighttime, bicycles must be equipped with a front white headlight that is visible from 300 feet away and a rear red reflector or red light visible from 300 feet away.

Bicycles must have proper working brakes that enable them to make their brake wheels skid on dry, clean, and level pavement.

What You Cannot Do

There are certain things that bicyclists need to avoid in order to stay on the right side of the law. This includes:

  • Clinging to other vehicles to hitch a ride
  • Carrying more passengers than the bike is designed for
  • Allowing a child under the age of 1 to ride as a passenger unless in a proper infant sling or affixed in a bicycle trailer
  • Having handlebars that put the bicycle operator’s hands above their shoulders to ride
  • Taking both hands off of the bicycle handlebars

Any person who sustains an injury in a bicycle accident caused by the negligence of another driver should reach out to an attorney so they can explore options for recovery and compensation.