02

Blog

Houston, Texas Bicycle Laws

In addition to state-wide laws, Houston, Texas has its own bicycle laws. Bike Law Charlie explains.

As both a bicycle accident attorney and advocate for safer riding, I previously prepared an article to serve as an overview of the laws that apply to riders while bicycling in Texas. We now focus on cities that have passed their own book of laws that also apply to bicyclists. This article focuses on relevant bicycle laws in Houston, Texas, which are listed in its Code of Ordinances at Article 12.

Authority to Prohibit Riding on Roadways

Houston’s traffic engineer is authorized to erect signs on any roadway prohibiting the riding of bicycles thereon and, when such signs are in place, no person shall disobey the same. §45-301.

Riding on Sidewalks

Houston prohibits bicycle riding on sidewalks in business districts per §45-302. This section further provides that a traffic engineer is authorized to erect signs on any sidewalk outside a business district prohibiting the riding of bicycles thereon by any person. Moreover, this section mandates that bicyclists properly on a sidewalk shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give audible signal before overtaking and passing any pedestrian.

Helmets Required for Children

Houston requires the use of a helmet for any child who rides on a bicycle or any side car, trailer, child carrier, seat or other device attached to a bicycle. Child means any person less than 18 years of age. Houston’s ordinance recognizes a defense to prosecution if the bicycle was not being operated upon a public way at the time of the alleged offense. Additionally, it is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section, upon first offense only, that the person owns or has acquired a helmet prior to the court hearing and promises the court that the helmet will be used in the future. This section does not apply to the operation of a pedicab. §45-326.

Sale or Lease of Bicycles by Houston Dealers

Houston further requires any dealer who leases a bicycle to provide a helmet for the use of each child who will ride upon the bicycle or to determine that each child who will operate or ride upon the bicycle has a helmet available. The dealer may impose an additional fee for use of the helmet if the dealer sells or leases a helmet to the bicycle lessee. Furthermore, it shall be unlawful for any dealer to sell a bicycle, bicycle side car, trailer or child carrier without providing a written statement to the purchaser advising of the terms of this division. §45-327.

Bicycle Helmet Fund

The bicycle helmet fund was created to accept donations of helmets and money to be used for the purchase of helmets. All monetary gifts to the fund shall constitute a trust that shall be deposited in the Houston’s trust and agency account, which may be invested as provided in the Texas Local Government Code. The fund shall be used exclusively for the purpose of providing bicycle helmets for the use of members of “very low income families.” The directors of the parks and recreation department and the health and human services department shall jointly administer the fund and shall promulgate rules and procedures for the distribution of helmets. Helmets shall be provided on a first-come-first-served basis to the extent of available supply. §45-329.

If you have any questions about these laws or how they may apply, please feel free to contact us via email or phone (1-844-531-7530) to discuss this topic further.

Comments

Minnesota Cycling Advocate
Daniel Brazil Jul 01, 2020

I recently had the great opportunity to interview fellow cycling advocate, Dave Sanderson, the chair of Pedal Fergus Falls, a Minnesota bike advocacy group. What began as a simple conversation about advocacy turned into an inspiring deep dive into the work Pedal Fergus Falls has done and continues to do for our cycling community. Pedal […]

Read More
Bike Safety
Daniel Brazil Jun 05, 2020

As a cyclist (and bike crash attorney), I often worry that I’m placing my life in the hands of motorists each time I hop on my bike. And stories like this one about bike safety recently shared on Outside Online heighten my fears, as cyclist deaths continue to rise across the U.S. even in a […]

Read More
Biking After COVID 5
Ann Groninger May 28, 2020

What will biking after COVID be like? Before COVID, it seemed like there was a handful of people in my city who rode bikes to get places, and we all knew each other. We’ve always had a robust recreational road riding community of people who gather after work and on weekends to head out to […]

Read More
Bike Advocate
Bruce Hagen May 26, 2020

If you’ve ridden a bike anywhere in Atlanta, chances are you’ve met Atlanta bike advocate Angel Poventud.  If you’ve stopped for a post-ride beer, been to an important advocacy event, or to any major Atlanta gathering, chances are you have met Angel Poventud.   It may only seem that Angel is everywhere, but when you […]

Read More
Bicycle accident lawyer group riding in COVID
Kurt Holzer May 15, 2020

Idaho’s Governor Little has issued the State’s planned staged transition away from his Stay-at-Home health order.  Road cyclists continue to wonder how we should engage in group riding under COVID. As a bicycle accident lawyer who deals with the negative aspects of cycling, I have been thinking a lot about when and how to ride safely […]

Read More
Felix Mayer Cyclist killed by car. NO VRU law
Bruce Hagen Apr 30, 2020

On May 1, 2020, the City of Dunwoody’s new Vulnerable Road User (“VRU”) ordinance will take effect, the first such law to be enacted anywhere in the State of Georgia.  Hopefully neighboring municipalities like Sandy Springs, Roswell and Chamblee will follow suit, and more importantly, the State of Georgia.   VRU laws recognize and prioritize […]

Read More
Load More