The following is asimplified version of the Texas Transportation Code Chapters 551 and 545 as they pertain to bicycles. The complete codes are provided immediately following.
Sec. 551.001. PERSONS AFFECTED - These laws apply to any person riding a bicycle on a highway or bike lane Sec. 551.101. RIGHTS AND DUTIES - A person riding a bike must follow the same laws that apply to a driver in a motor vehicle
Sec. 551.102. GENERAL OPERATION - Only one person per bike, unless the bike is designed for riding tandem. - You cannot carry anything or perform any task that prevents you from having at least one hand on the handlebars
Sec. 551.103. OPERATION ON ROADWAY - Cyclists must ride in the same direction as traffic and near the curb (the minimum safe distance while passing is 3 feet between cyclists and standard size motor vehicle and 6 feet between cyclists and large motor vehicles) - Cyclists do have the right to take the lane when out of safety necessity - Cyclists may ride two abreast when it does not impede traffic
Sec. 551.104. SAFETY EQUIPMENT - Bicycle brakes must be capable of making the braked wheel skid while on level pavement - Bicycles must be equipped with a white light on the front of the bike and a red reflector on the back for nighttime riding
Sec. 545.107. METHOD OF GIVING HAND AND ARM SIGNALS - To indicate turning left, extend your left arm horizontally - To indicate turning right, cyclists can either extend their right arm or extend left arm and hand upward - To indicate slowing down or stopping, extend hand and arm downward
AUSTIN Vulnerable Road User Laws (Full Version)
a) In this section, a Vulnerable Road User means: (1) a pedestrian, including a runner, physically disabled person, child, skater, highway construction and maintenance worker, tow truck operator, utility worker, other worker with legitimate business in or near the road or right-of-way, or stranded motorist or passenger; (2) a person on horseback; (3) a person operating equipment other than a motor vehicle, including, but not limited to, a bicycle, handcycle, horse-driven conveyance, or unprotected farm equipment; or (4) a person operating a motorcyclist, moped, motor-driven cycle, or motor-assisted scooter.
(b) An operator of a motor vehicle passing a vulnerable road user operating on a highway or street shall: (1) vacate the lane in which the vulnerable road user is located if the highway has two or more marked lanes running in the same direction; or (2) pass the vulnerable road user at a safe distance.
(c) For the purpose of Subsection (b)(2), when road conditions allow, safe distance is at least: (1) three feet if the operator’s vehicle is a passenger car or light truck; or (2) six feet if the operator’s vehicle is a truck, other than a light truck, or a commercial motor vehicle as defined by Texas Transportation Code Section 522.003.
(d) An operator of a motor vehicle that is making a left turn at an intersection, including an intersection with an alley or private road or driveway, shall yield the right-of-way to a vulnerable road user who is approaching from the opposite direction and is in the intersection, or is in such proximity to the intersection as to be an immediate hazard.
(e) An operator of a motor vehicle may not overtake a vulnerable road user traveling in the same direction and subsequently make a right-hand turn in front of the vulnerable road user unless the operator is safely clear of the vulnerable road user, taking into account the speed at which the vulnerable road user is traveling and the braking requirements of the motor vehicle making the right-hand turn.
(f) An operator of a motor vehicle may not maneuver the vehicle in a manner that: (1) is intended to cause intimidation or harassment to a vulnerable road user; or (2) threatens a vulnerable road user.
(g) An operator of a motor vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any vulnerable road user on a roadway or in an intersection of roadways.
(h) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that at the time of the offense the vulnerable road user was acting in violation of the law.
Sec. 551.001. PERSONS AFFECTED. Except as provided by Subchapter C, this chapter applies only to a person operating a bicycle on: (1) a highway; or (2) a path set aside for the exclusive operation of bicycles.
Sec. 551.101. RIGHTS AND DUTIES. (a) A person operating a bicycle has the rights and duties applicable to a driver operating a vehicle under this subtitle, unless: (1) a provision of this chapter alters a right or duty; or (2) a right or duty applicable to a driver operating a vehicle cannot by its nature apply to a person operating a bicycle. (b) A parent of a child or a guardian of a ward may not knowingly permit the child or ward to violate this subtitle.
Sec. 551.102. GENERAL OPERATION. (a) A person operating a bicycle shall ride only on or astride a permanent and regular seat attached to the bicycle. (b) A person may not use a bicycle to carry more persons than the bicycle is designed or equipped to carry. (c) A person operating a bicycle may not use the bicycle to carry an object that prevents the person from operating the bicycle with at least one hand on the handlebars of the bicycle. (d) A person operating a bicycle, coaster, sled, or toy vehicle or using roller skates may not attach either the person or the bicycle, coaster, sled, toy vehicle, or roller skates to a streetcar or vehicle on a roadway.
Sec. 551.103. OPERATION ON ROADWAY. (a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a person operating a bicycle on a roadway who is moving slower than the other traffic on the roadway shall ride as near as practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway, unless: (1) the person is passing another vehicle moving in the same direction; (2) the person is preparing to turn left at an intersection or onto a private road or driveway; (3) a condition on or of the roadway, including a fixed or moving object, parked or moving vehicle, pedestrian, animal, or surface hazard prevents the person from safely riding next to the right curb or edge of the roadway; or (4) the person is operating a bicycle in an outside lane that is: (A) less than 14 feet in width and does not have a designated bicycle lane adjacent to that lane; or (B) too narrow for a bicycle and a motor vehicle to safely travel side by side. (b) A person operating a bicycle on a one-way roadway with two or more marked traffic lanes may ride as near as practicable to the left curb or edge of the roadway. (c) Persons operating bicycles on a roadway may ride two abreast. Persons riding two abreast on a laned roadway shall ride in a single lane. Persons riding two abreast may not impede the normal and reasonable flow of traffic on the roadway. Persons may not ride more than two abreast unless they are riding on a part of a roadway set aside for the exclusive operation of bicycles. (d) Repealed by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1085, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.
Sec. 551.104. SAFETY EQUIPMENT. (a) A person may not operate a bicycle unless the bicycle is equipped with a brake capable of making a braked wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement. (b) A person may not operate a bicycle at nighttime unless the bicycle is equipped with: (1) a lamp on the front of the bicycle that emits a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet in front of the bicycle; and (2) on the rear of the bicycle (A) a red reflector that is: (i) of a type approved by the department; and (ii) visible when directly in front of lawful upper beams of motor vehicle headlamps from all distances from 50 to 300 feet to the rear of the bicycle; or (B) a lamp that emits a red light visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear of the bicycle.
Texas Transportation Code Chapter 545 Sec. 545.107. METHOD OF GIVING HAND AND ARM SIGNALS. An operator who is permitted to give a hand and arm signal shall give the signal from the left side of the vehicle as follows: (1) to make a left turn signal, extend hand and arm horizontally; (2) to make a right turn signal, extend hand and arm upward, except that a bicycle operator may signal from the right side of the vehicle with the hand and arm extended horizontally; and (3) to stop or decrease speed, extend hand and arm downward.
BE KIND members work with cyclists, motorists, policy-makers, and community members to raise awareness and promote mutual respect between drivers and cyclists on the road, creating healthier and more harmonious communities.
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