It’s important to know your legal rights (and duties) when bicycling in Alaska. It is especially important after a bicycle accident (we call them bicycle “crashes” and explain why here).
This is a general overview of Alaska’s bicycle laws. To see them in their completion, please visit Alaska’s Department of Transportation. Feel free to reach out to Bike Law’s National Director Rachael Maney for further information.
Right to the Road
Bicycles are defined as vehicles and generally have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle drivers.
Where to Ride
- Bicyclists are required to ride as far to the right of the road as practicable.
- While not required to use the bike lane, bicyclists are required to use the shoulder of the highway if maintained in good condition.
- Sidewalk riding is generally permissible, but bicyclists must yield right-of-way to pedestrians. Check local ordinances for variations on this rule.
HOW to RIDE
- Bicyclists shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles. When riding two abreast, bicyclists may not impede traffic and must ride within the farthest right lane.
- Bicyclists are required to slow down and come to a complete stop at stop signs and traffic devices signaling red.
- Bicyclists must signal when turning or coming to a stop.
Bicyclists Overtaking Cars
Bicyclists on roadways must exercise due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.
Cars Overtaking Bicyclists
Motor vehicle drivers are required to pass bicyclists at a safe distance.
- At night, a bicycle must be equipped with a front white light and a rear red tail light, both visible from at least 500 feet away.
- Every bicycle must have a brake system which will enable the bicyclist to stop within 25 feet from a speed of 10 miles per hour on dry, level, clean pavement.
- A bicycle may not carry more than the number of persons for which it is designed.
- Clinging to motor vehicles while bicycling is not permitted.
- Bicycles must be operated with at least one hand on handlebars.