It’s important to know your legal rights (and duties) when bicycling in Indiana. It is especially important after a bicycle accident (we call them bicycle “crashes” and explain why here).
This is a general overview of Indiana’s bicycle laws. To see them in their completion, please visit Indiana’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 not defined as vehicles but bicyclists generally have all of the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle drivers.
Where to Ride
- Bicyclists are required to ride in the right hand lane or as close as practicable to the right-hand edge of the roadway, when traveling slower than the speed of traffic.
- Bicyclists may (but are not required to) utilize any usable bicycle lane.
- Bicycles are not prohibited from being ridden on the sidewalks but bicyclists should check their local ordinances for variations.
HOW TO RIDE
- Bicyclists shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of the roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.
- Bicyclists are required to slow down and come to a complete stop at stop signs and traffic devices signaling red. However, after a bicyclist comes to a complete stop at a steady red traffic signal, and waits for two (2) minutes or 120 seconds, the bicyclist, exercising due care, may treat the red traffic signal as a stop sign and may proceed once safe. (Dead 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 safely pass bicyclists with at least three (3) feet clearance and shall not return to their lane of travel until it is safe to do so.
- At night, a bicycle must be equipped with a front white light and a rear red lamp or rear red reflector, both visible from 500 feet away.
- Every bicycle must have a brake which allows the bicycle to make the braked wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement.
- Bicyclists may not use a siren or whistle.
- Bicyclists may not ride without a permanent, regular seat attached to the bicycle.
- A bicycle may not carry more than the number of persons for which it is designed or equipped.
- Clinging to motor vehicles while bicycling is not permitted.
- Bicyclists may not carry anything that prevents them from keeping both hands upon the handlebars.
Indiana’s DUI laws apply to bicyclists as bicycles are defined as vehicles for the purpose of that law.
Motor Vehicle Dooring
While there is no dooring law, the Indiana Driver’s Manual cautions motorists to check for bicyclists before opening vehicle doors.