Understanding Texas Bicycle Laws
Improving the safety of bicyclists can happen in many ways. Often, this can come from a federal level with the development of new biker-friendly infrastructure or the introduction of new laws targeting these individuals. There are several laws and regulations regarding cyclists in Texas, although individual counties and cities can choose to impose more depending on the need.
Here are the laws you need to follow if choosing to bicycle in Texas:
- If a cyclist moves slower than traffic, they must be as far right to the edge of the roadway or curb as possible (but not on the shoulder).
- Cyclists must use hand signals to communicate with other road users.
- Cyclists can only bike at night if their bike has a headlamp on the front and a red reflector on the bicycle's rear.
- Cyclists may "take the lane" when there are unsafe conditions on the roadway, the lane is a substandard width, preparing to take a left turn, or when passing another vehicle.
- Cyclists must be able to keep one hand on the handlebars at all times.
There are presently no laws regarding helmet use for cyclists of any age.
How These Vary in Waco
In 2016, Waco passed a city ordinance providing cyclists with more protection from motor vehicle drivers. This ordinance is two-fold: first, it forces motorists to change lanes when looking to pass by a cyclist if one is available. And second, if one is not available, there must be a minimum of three feet of clearance between the cyclist and the vehicle. Commercial vehicles must have at least six feet. Not following this law could be a ticket-able offense and Class C misdemeanor.
There is currently no statewide mandate for this, despite active legislation being debated in 2019 and 2021. However, it is commendable that cities are choosing to take these steps to protect cyclists, pedestrians, and other non-motor vehicle drivers.
The Waco attorneys at Law Offices Of Vic Feazell, P.C. are committed to protecting cyclists and other individuals from negligent driving. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of another driver, we can help you. Schedule a free consultation by calling (254) 938-6885.