02

Blog

Louisiana Bike Laws

LOUISIANA BICYCLE LAWS

It’s important to know your legal rights (and duties) when bicycling in Louisiana. It is especially important after a bicycle accident (we call them bicycle “crashes” and explain why here).

For any questions about the State’s bike laws, or about your rights to the road, contact attorney Charlie Thomas directly.

Right to the Road

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

Prohibitions

  • Clinging to motor vehicles while biking is not permitted.
  • Bicycles may only carry the number of persons for which it is designed.

Helmets

  • There is no statewide requirement for helmet for adults, however,  children under 12 years of age in Louisiana must legally wear a helmet while riding in public.

Alcohol

  • Louisiana’s DUI statute does not apply to bicyclists (only to operators of motor vehicles), but a bicyclist under the influence may be charged with public intoxication.  

Where to Ride

  • Bicycles are to ride as close as practicable and safe to the right side of the roadway except when overtaking another bicyclist, when preparing to make a left turn, when necessary to avoid a roadway hazard or vehicle, or when riding in a substandard width lane.

Sidewalks

  • Sidewalk riding is neither allowed or prohibited by Louisiana state law. Local ordinances typically address this issue.  

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

  • Louisiana does not require that bicyclists use any lane or path other than a normal vehicular traffic lane.

Stop Signs and Traffic Control Devices

  • Bicyclists are required to come to a full and complete stop at all stop signs and traffic lights displaying a red signal.

Signaling

  • Bicyclists must use hand/arm signals when turning and stopping.

Drivers Overtaking Bicyclists

  • An overtaking driver must exercise due care and leave a safe distance of not less than three feet when overtaking a bicyclist.  

Group Riding

  • Bicyclists may not ride more than 2 abreast and may not impede motor vehicle traffic.

Equipment

  • Every bicycle must be equipped with a white front facing headlight and a red rear light, visible from at least 500 feet when used at nighttime.
  • Every bicycle shall be equipped with a bell or other device capable of giving a signal audible for a distance of at least 100 feet, except that a bicycle shall not have a siren or whistle.
  • Every bicycle shall be equipped with a brake that will allow the bike to skid on clean, level, and dry pavement.  

Harassment

Bicycle Registration

  • Louisiana provides that local governments may institute their own bicycle registration programs.  

Electric Assist Bikes

  • Louisiana law defines an electric assisted bicycle as a motorized bicycle with pedals and propelled by human power with a helper motor or both. The motor must be rated no more than 50cc, have an automatic transmission and designed to have a maximum speed of not more than 25mph on flat surface.
  • Bicyclists may use e-bikes in the same matter as traditional bicycles, except that they must wear a helmet unless they have a health insurance policy with medical benefits over $10,000.  

Comments

Peter Wilborn Aug 20, 2019

A camera is necessary kit for every ride. But finding the right camera has been a challenge, until now. My rebuttable presumption: the Ricoh GR III is the best cycling camera of all time. Read on, and if you can prove there’s a better one, let me know. The Ideal Cycling Camera To find the […]

Read More
Human Shield Bike Lane
Bruce Hagen Jul 29, 2019

If you ride bikes around Atlanta, chances are that you know Niklas Vollmer and Andreas Wolfe.  They’re some of the many people in town who seem to live on their bikes and can be seen riding everywhere.  While they both have their “day jobs,” folks in the cycling world know them for their place in […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
AJ's Bicycle Shop in Iowa
Jim Freeman Jul 15, 2019

Bicycling Magazine recently published an article titled, “Hey, Bike Shops; Stop Treating Customers Like Garbage.”  The story follows a heavy-set 59 year old’s sad tale of how he was treated poorly from a number of local bike shops.   First and foremost, I would be clear that bikes are for almost everyone.  If you are big, […]

Read More
Bike accident scene
Rick Bernardi Jul 12, 2019

The big bike news out of the Oregon legislature this year was the passage of a Stop as Yield law. This was an enormous legislative victory for Oregon cyclists, the culmination of over a decade of advocacy. But it wasn’t the only legislative victory for Oregon cyclists this legislative session. A less glamorous but equally […]

Read More
Uber Biking Escort
Charlie Thomas Jul 11, 2019

I often find myself wanting to ride on a roadway corridor that doesn’t want me there. At best, I could make it across alive with some close calls and a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. At worst, I wouldn’t be around to write this blog post.  Of course, a safer, alternate route […]

Read More
Cycling Without Age Bike Law
Brian Weiss Jul 11, 2019

The founder of the Lakewood Bicycle Advisory Team loves his life on two wheels. Gary Harty was born in Bellows Falls, Vermont, and raised in Colorado – Denver Metro area, and now makes bicycling in Lakewood, Colorado safe and fun.  Gary is part of the baby boomer generation. He attended Colorado State University (CSU) and […]

Read More
Rachael Maney Bike Law
Rachael Maney Jul 10, 2019

Outrage.  It is what drives action and engagement on the interwebs these days. If it’s not outrageous, it’s boring. The Election of 2018 proved that outrage increases TOS (“time on site”) more than friendship, sympathy, desire, or anything else.  Judgment. By definition it is necessary to reach any conclusion about anything. But passing it on […]

Read More
Stop as Yield for Cyclists
Rick Bernardi Jul 09, 2019

The Oregon Legislature made national news this past week, for all the wrong reasons. The State Senate, with a super-majority of Democrats in control, had been working on climate legislation which would have Oregon join a cap-and-trade market with California and Quebec. Unable to stop the legislation, Republican Senators fled the state en masse, preventing […]

Read More
Bike Law Alps
Charlie Thomas Jul 07, 2019

It’s Tour de France time. I follow the racing daily through the footage on TV feed and still photos. But I hadn’t ever considered what’s happening on the other side of the camera lens. Like, what actually goes into snapping these pictures that we see documenting the Tour’s happenings? I started to care more about […]

Read More
E Bike and insurance
Lauri Boxer-Macomber Jul 01, 2019

Prologue  Last month, I rode across the Casco Bay Bridge to talk e-bikes and insurance with Bob O’Brien, the Vice President of Noyes, Hall and Allen Insurance in South Portland, Maine.  Although I have yet to invest in an e-bike for myself, I have been captivated by e-bikes and their potential to get and keep […]

Read More
Brooke Nelson
Danny Feldman Jul 01, 2019

Brooke Nelson has been the ride director of the Cheaha Challenge (www.cheahachallange.com) since shortly after the 2014 ride and in the past 5 years, ride participation has increased 188%.  Since 2017 when it became the only UCI Qualifier, Alabama’s biggest ride has become known nationally and internationally.  The 2019 ride had participants from 31 states […]

Read More
Load More