Utah Cycling Laws
What is a Bicycle?
A “Bicycle” means every device propelled by human power by feet or hands acting upon pedals or cranks, with seat for the operator, and wheels 14 inches or greater in diameter. Bicycle includes an electric assisted bicycle (41-6a-102).
Your bicycle is considered a vehicle and you have the same rights and are subject to the same provisions as the operator of any other vehicle (41-6a-1102). This includes obeying traffic signals (41-6a-305), stop and yield signs (41-6a-902), and all other official traffic control devices (41-6a-208), pedestrians in crosswalks (41-6a-1002) and school buses. (41-6a-1302).
For an operator of a bicycle who is 16 years of age or older, facing a steady circular red signal or red arrow: brings the bicycle to a complete stop at the intersection; determined that the traffic-control signal has not detected the operator’s presence by waiting a reasonable time of not less than 90 seconds at the intersection or stop line before entering the intersection; no other vehicle or pedestrians entitled to the right of way are entering or approaching the intersection; cautiously enters the intersection and proceeds across the roadway (41-6a-305).
Riding With Traffic
Ride in the same direction as traffic (41-6a-1105).
Ride as far to the right as practicable except when (41-6a-1105):
- Passing another bike or vehicle
- Preparing to turn left
- Going straight through an intersection past a right-turn-only lane
- Avoiding unsafe conditions on the right-hand edge of the roadway
- Traveling in a lane too narrow to safely ride side-by-side with another vehicle
Ride no more than two abreast and then only if you would not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic (41-6a-1105).
In some instances where a usable off-roadway bike path has been provided, you may be directed by an official traffic control device to use the path rather than the roadway (41-6a-1105).
To make a left turn, you have two options as a bicyclist:
Use the left turn lane or two-way left turn lane in the same manner required of motor vehicles (41-6a-801) or
Staying on the right side of the roadway, ride through the intersecting roadway to the far corner and stop. After it is safe and legal to do so, cross going in the new direction, continuing to travel on the right side of the roadway (41-6a-1108).
Always signal your intention to turn right or left, change lanes, or stop at least two seconds before doing so (41-6a-804). You do not have to maintain a continuous signal if you need your hand to control the bike. Once stopped in a designated turn lane you are not required to signal again before turning (41-6a-1109)
The acceptable hand signals are:
- Left turn – left hand and arm extended horizontally
- Right turn – left hand and arm extended upward or right hand and arm extended horizontally
- Stop or decrease speed – left hand and arm extended downward (41-6a-804)
- Motorists may not pass within 3-feet of a moving bicycle. Motorists may not attempt to distract a bicyclists (41-6a-706.5).
Is My Bike Street Legal?
- You are required to have a white headlight, red taillight or reflector, and side reflectors, all visible for at least 500 feet (41-6a-1114) any time you ride earlier than a half hour before sunrise, later than a half hour after sunset, or whenever it is otherwise difficult to make out vehicles 1000 feet away (41-6a-1603).
- You must have brakes capable of stopping you within 25 feet from a speed of 10 miles per hour on dry, level, clean pavement (41-6a-1113).
- You cannot have a siren or whistle on your bike (41-6a-1113).
- You may park your bike on a sidewalk along a roadway anywhere it is not expressly prohibited or where it would impede pedestrian or traffic movement. You may also park your bike on the roadway anywhere parking is allowed as long as you are parked within 12 inches of the curb or edge of roadway (41-6a-1402) and your bike does not block any legally parked motor vehicles. Your bike does not have to be parallel to the curb, but may be parked at any angle to the curb (41-6a-1107).
Additional Rules of the Road
- A peace officer may at any time upon reasonable cause to believe that your bicycle is unsafe or not equipped as required by, or that its equipment is not in proper adjustment or repair, require you to stop and submit the bicycle to an inspection and a test as appropriate (41-6a-1110).
- Always yield to pedestrians and give an audible signal when overtaking them. Use care and safe speeds to avoid collisions. Never ride where bicycles are prohibited (41-6a-1106).
- Never carry more people on your bike than it was designated and equipped to handle; though, as an adult, you may carry a child securely attached to you in a back pack or sling (41-6a-1103).
- While cycling, never attach yourself or your bike to any vehicle moving on the highway (41-6a-1104).
- Never race bicycles on the highway except in events approved by state or local authorities (41-6a-1111).
- Do not carry any package, bundle, or article that prevents using both hands to control your bike. You must have at least one hand on the handlebars at all times (41-6a-1112).
- Don’t be rude, ride with respect.
- It benefits all bicyclists to ride courteously. Courtesy is voluntary social behavior that exceeds our obligations under the law. Share the road includes bicyclists as well as motorists.
- Don’t respond to road rage or harassment. The motorist who passes too closely is probably looking to provoke a response from you. If you respond in kind, you give them what they want. Give them a friendly wave instead of the other.
- If riding two abreast make it easy for motorists to pass you. Singling up when a motorists approaches from the rear is polite. Bicyclists appreciate it when a motorist slows down and gives them more than three feet when passing. Return such courteousness rather than doing the minimum required by law.
- Don’t pass on the right unless you can leave three feet between you and the motor vehicle or are in a bike lane. Passing stopped traffic on the right creates conflicts at intersections and frustrates drivers who must repeat their passing maneuvers.
- Ride predictably; in a straight line and with clear indication when you will change direction.
- Don’t text and ride (Duh).