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Idaho Bike Laws

IDAHO BICYCLE LAWS

Right to the Road

  • Idaho bicyclists generally have the same rights, and same duties, as drivers of motor vehicles.

Prohibitions

  • Bicycles may only carry the number of persons for which it is designed, except an adult may carry a child in a backpack or sling.
  • Cyclists cannot hang onto or attach themselves to vehicles or ride so close as to present a danger

Helmets

  • There is no requirement for helmets for anyone on a bicycle

Alcohol

  • Idaho’s DUI statute does not apply to bicyclists.
  • Local ordinances may impact impaired cyclists

Where to Ride

  • Bicycles are to ride as close as practicable to the right side of the roadway except when overtaking another bicyclist, when preparing to make a left turn, when necessary to avoid a fixed or slow moving object or vehicle or when riding in a substandard width lane.
  • On one-way roads bicyclists may ride are near the left hand side of the roadway as is practicable.

Sidewalks

  • Sidewalk riding is generally permitted except where prohibited by local ordinance.
  • Cyclists  riding on a sidewalk must yield the right of way to pedestrians and must give an audible signal before passing.

Motor Vehicle Doors

  • No person may open the door of a motor vehicle unless it is safe to do so.

Bike Lanes, Bike Paths and Multi-Use Paths

  • Idaho bicyclists are generally allowed to use the roadway
  • In Boise City where a bike Lane is provided on or “immediately adjacent to” the roadway cyclists required to ride in or upon the bike lanes or paths roadway with exceptions for right and left turns and to avoid hazards.

Stop Signs and Traffic Control Devices

  • Bicyclists coming to a stop sign must slow, and if required for safety , stop.  If no car is approaching that causes an immediate hazard during the crossing of the intersection the cyclist may proceed through the stop-sign without stopping.  (Stop as yield)
  • Bicyclists coming to a red light must stop and yield to all other traffic. If safe the cyclist may proceed through the intersection  (Stop Light as Stop SIgn)

Signaling

  • Bicyclists must use hand/arm signals when turning and stopping unless the hand is needed to control the bicycle.

Drivers Overtaking Bicyclists

  • A vehicle passing a bicyclist must not do so in a way that interferes with the operation of the bicycle.
  • In Boise City, a driver must give a cyclist 3-Feet clearance to pass.  

 Bicycles Passing on the Right

  • A bicyclist may pass a car on the right if there is unobstructed pavement sufficient for 2 or more lines of vehicles and the pass may be done safely.
  • In Boise City it is legal to pass on the right.

Group Riding

  • Bicyclists may not ride more than 2 abreast, must not impede the “normal and reasonable movement” of traffic and must stay within a single lane..

Equipment

  • Every bicycle must be equipped with a white front facing headlight visible from at least 500 feet when used at nighttime..
  • Every bicycle must have a red reflector clearly visible from the rear of the bicycle
  • In Boise City, every bicycle shall be equipped with a brake which will stop it in twenty five feet (25′) at ten (10) miles per hour on dry, level, clean pavement;

Electric Assist Bikes

  • Idaho Law (Idaho Code 49-106) defines an electric assisted bicycle as an electric motor-driven vehicle equipped with operable pedals, a seat or saddle for the rider, no more than three wheels in contact during travel. In addition, the vehicle must be equipped with an electric motor that is capable of applying a power output of no greater than 750 watts, and that is incapable of propelling the vehicle at a speed greater than 28 miles per hour on level ground
  • Bicyclists may use a  e-bikes in the same matter as traditional bicycles but local ordinance may prohibit them from specific pathways.

Comments

Rick Bernardi Sep 13, 2019

Stop as Yield. It was the legislative Holy Grail for Oregon cyclists. Idaho had pioneered the Stop As Yield concept—allowing cyclists to treat a stop sign as if it’s a yield sign—in 1982, and for decades, Idaho remained the only state where Stop as Yield was legal for cyclists, despite the actual practice being widespread, […]

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Bruce Hagen Jul 19, 2019

This is a time when advocacy efforts are crucial to making our streets safer for everyone. Within 24 hours from the Two Wheel Tuesday gathering we suffered two more casualties.  On Wednesday morning, Marten Bijvank was on his way to work on his bicycle when he was struck and killed by an unlicensed DUI driver […]

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