Bike Lane Laws
Texas Rules of the Shared Roads
The Texas Department of Transportation's (TxDOT) Transportation Code statutes apply to cyclists and drivers. Many of the statutes require cyclists to use hand signals and body actions. It is necessary for everyone, drivers and cyclists, to know these signals. Please carefully review the statutes listed below.
- “Bicyclists have the same rights and duties of other vehicle operators” (Statute 551.101)
- Cyclists must stop at stop signs and red traffic lights.
- Cars are required to yield right-of-way to a bicycle when appropriate, just as to any other vehicle.
- “Ride near the curb and go in the same direction as other traffic” (Statute 551.103)
- Cyclists are encouraged to stay closer to the curb and within the bike lane lines unless it is not safe to do so. In this case, the law gives cyclists the right to take the lane.
- Drivers should move lanes, if possible, or yield to cyclists.
- “Bicyclists must use hand and arm signals” (Statute 545.107)
- Cyclists must point the way they are going to let other cyclists and vehicles know what you want to do. See the image below for a visual of these signal.
- To make a left turn signal, extend left hand and arm horizontally.
- To make a right turn signal, extend left arm horizontally and bend elbow at 90 degrees to point hand upward.
- To stop or decrease speed, extend left hand and arm downward.
- Cyclists must keep one hand on the handlebars at all times.
- “One rider per saddle” (Statute 551.102a)
- Cyclists shall not share the bike unless the bike has more than one saddle seats.
- “Must have a white light on the front and a red reflector or red light on the rear (for riding at night)” (Statute 551.104b)
- The light(s) and reflector help other cyclists and drivers see you coming from any direction—especially from the side where vehicle headlights do not shine on reflectors.
- The law effective as of September 2001 states that a red light can replace a red reflector.
More Information Available
For additional bike lane laws, please visit www.txdot.gov/bikelaneFAQs. For more information on bike safety, please visit www.biketexas.org. Bike Texas provides several resources to help cyclists and drivers understand the bike lane laws and safety.