May is Bike Month! See the event calendar here!

NC Biking Rules of the Road

In North Carolina, bicyclists have the same rights and duties as motorists and are subject to traffic vehicle laws. Some laws changed in 2016. For a complete list of NC bike laws, visit ncdot.gov/bikeped/lawspolicies

Follow these Rules of the Road to help keep you and your loved ones safe. Información en Español

  • Ride predictably.
  • Ride defensively.
  • Follow ALL traffic laws – bicycles are vehicles in North Carolina.
  • Always ride in the same direction as traffic and as far to the right as practicable.
  • Indicate your turns by pointing left or right.
  • Scan behind you before changing lanes.
  • Do not filter up by stopped cars at intersections. 
  • Avoid swerving between parked cars.
  • Make eye contact with motorists, especially at intersections and driveways.
  • Give an audible warning to pedestrians when approaching from behind.
  • Be safe, be visible.
  • Don’t wear headphones while riding.
  • Wear a properly fitted helmet and replace after any impact or crash.
  • Find a well-fitted bike.
  • Wear brightly colored or reflective clothing.
  • Use hand signals for turning:

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Also, North Carolina law requires children under age 16 to wear a helmet and for bicyclists at night to have a white front headlight, a rear reflector and a red rear light or reflective clothing visible from 300 feet.

Changes were made to NC's bike laws in July 2016:

  • Drivers can pass bicycles in no-passing zones if the motorist gives a berth of at least 4 feet and if the cyclist is not making a left turn. 
  • Cyclists must have a front and rear light – or wear a reflective vest or clothing that is visible from at least 300 feet to the rear. 
  • Clarified hand signals.
  • Stiffer penalties for aggressive drivers.

Resources for safe riding