02

Blog

South Carolina Bike Laws

SOUTH CAROLINA BICYCLE LAWS

It’s important to know your legal rights (and duties) when bicycling in South Carolina. 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 attorneys Peter Wilborn and Timmy Finch directly.

Right to the Road

  • South Carolina 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.
  • Cyclists may not carry any items which prevents them from keeping at least one hand on the handlebars

Helmets

  • South Carolina does not have a state-wide requirement for helmet use.

Alcohol

  • South Carolina’s DUI statute does not apply to bicyclists.

Where to Ride

  • When in travel lanes, bicyclists must ride with the flow of traffic as closely as practicable to the right side of the roadway.
  • A bicyclist may, but is not required to, ride on the shoulder of the roadway.

Sidewalks

  • Sidewalk riding is permitted except where prohibited by local ordinances but bicyclists riding on a sidewalk must yield the right of way to pedestrians.

Bike Lanes, Bike Paths and Multi-Use Paths

  • Use of bike lanes is required when they are present.
  • Cyclists may ride on the roadway when there is only an adjacent recreational bicycle path available instead of a bicycle 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

  • Cyclists must give the proper signals when turning or stopping.

Drivers Overtaking Bicyclists

  • Motor vehicle drivers must a safe operating distance when passing a bicyclist.

Bicycles Passing Cars

  • When operating a bicycle upon a roadway, a bicyclist must exercise due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.

Group Riding

  • Bicyclists may not ride more than 2 abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.

Equipment

  • A bicycle when in use at nighttime must be equipped with a lamp on the front which must emit a white light visible from a distance of at least five hundred feet to the front and with a red reflector on the rear that must be visible from all distances from fifty feet to three hundred feet to the rear when directly in front of the lawful upper beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle. A lamp emitting a red light visible from a distance of five hundred feet to the rear may be used in addition to the red reflector.
  • A bicycle must be equipped with a brake that will enable the bicyclist to make the braked wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement.

Electric Assist Bikes

  • E-bikes lack a specific classification under current South Carolina traffic laws. However, “e-bikes” are “vehicles” and are therefore subject to the requirements for “vehicles.”
  • E-bikes equipped with motors that have a power output of less than 750 watts are specifically exempt from the definition of “moped.” Therefore, e-bikes are not subject to requirements that apply to “mopeds,” such as licensing and registration.
  • E-bikes are subject to the rules of the road that apply to vehicles.

Comments

Ash Our Streets
Daniel Brazil Jan 13, 2021

As a Minneapolis-based attorney, I live, work, play and bike in the city. Although my city might be known for its lakes and our infamous Juicy Lucy, Minneapolis’ dedication to having safer streets for all should be included in that list. To reach the safe streets goal, numerous non-profit organizations and groups are working tirelessly […]

Read More
Ambassador
Rachael Maney Jan 11, 2021

Applications for the Bike Law Foundation Ambassador Program are now live. CLICK HERE FOR THE APPLICATION. The deadline to apply is Sunday, January 24th. Those selected will be notified on or before February 1. Thanks for your support and willingness to work together to make bicycling safer for all. We are committed to you, to one another, and […]

Read More
3-foot passing close call
Charlie Thomas Jan 11, 2021

It happens all the time: Someone emails me video footage, clearly showing they were biking along when a car buzzes past, coming within inches of a horrible crash — and there’s nothing I can do about it because we don’t have the laws in place to do something to help. Luckily, that might be about […]

Read More
killing cyclist bike law
Rachael Maney Dec 22, 2020

BIKE LAW ANNOUNCES THE INDICTMENT OF CARL BEHLER FOR KILLING CYCLIST AND INJURING OTHERS   Today, Carl Behler appeared in court for the first time for killing cyclist Arthur Carter and injuring others. He was indicted on Friday (12/18) by the Anne Arundel County Grand Jury and promptly arrested and detained for 7 crimes related […]

Read More
Bicycle Mayor
Bruce Hagen Dec 03, 2020

When I (Maria of Bike Law Georgia) called Pattie Baker, the first Metro Atlanta Bicycle Mayor, she was trudging through marshland on her bicycle on Alpharetta’s Big Creek Greenway. I pictured her in my mind with her bike, wearing her signature skirts, and mud on her sandals. Always on the go, the newly minted Metro […]

Read More
Alabama Bike Advocacy
Danny Feldman Dec 02, 2020

When Alabama bike advocate Jamie Miernik was growing up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, she dreamed of being an astronaut.  And today, although she is not an astronaut, as a chemical engineer who worked for Boeing on the NASA space station project, she put her knowledge and talents to use keeping the astronauts safe and sound in […]

Read More
Local bike shop Atlanta Bike Shop Mechanic
Bruce Hagen Nov 06, 2020

We have so many amazing local bike shops in the Atlanta Metro Area and in Georgia that it’s hard to single out any for the service that they provide, but here’s a short list of some of the shops from various parts of town and throughout the state. Eight Great Local Bike Shops in Georgia […]

Read More
Justice Ginsberg Bike Law
Lauri Boxer-Macomber Nov 03, 2020

Last month after Justice Ginsberg passed away, I went on one of those long solo rides to pedal things out.  I was hoping that time in the saddle would help settle the emotional torrent within me.  On one hand, I was feeling driven, empowered, and more motivated than ever to step things up a notch […]

Read More
Women on Bikes Rachael
Peter Wilborn Oct 11, 2020

Rachael Maney is the Director of the Bike Law Network and of the non-profit Bike Law Foundation. As most of you know, she has spent the last two weeks on these pages profiling 16 Women on Bikes leading up to yesterday’s inaugural Women’s Cycling Day. If you haven’t yet, read her profiles of and conversations with […]

Read More
Load More