Idaho Bicycle Statutes

Bicycle-related IDAHO CODE Title 49, Chapter 7

49-714. TRAFFIC LAWS APPLY TO PERSONS ON BICYCLES AND OTHER HUMAN-POWERED VEHICLES — DUE CARE.

(1) Every person operating a vehicle propelled by human power or riding a bicycle shall have all of the rights and all of the duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle under the provisions of chapters 6 and 7 of this title, except as otherwise provided in this chapter and except as to those provisions which by their nature can have no application.

(2) Every operator or rider of a bicycle or human-powered vehicle shall exercise due care.

49-715. RIDING ON BICYCLES.

(1) A person propelling a bicycle shall not ride other than upon or astride an attached permanent and regular seat.
(2) No bicycle or human-propelled vehicle shall be used to carry more persons at one (1) time than the number for which it is designed and equipped. (3) An adult rider may carry a child securely attached to his person in a backpack or sling or in a child carrier attached to the bicycle.

49-716. CLINGING TO OR FOLLOWING VEHICLES.

(1) No person riding upon any bicycle, coaster, roller skates, skateboard, sled or toy vehicle shall attach it or himself to any vehicle upon a highway.

(2) The provisions of this section shall not prohibit the attachment of a bicycle trailer or bicycle semitrailer to a bicycle if that trailer or semitrailer has been designed for that attachment.

(3) No person riding upon any bicycle or human-powered vehicle shall follow a vehicle so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard to the rider.

49-717. POSITION ON HIGHWAY.

(1) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride as close as practicable* to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations:

(a) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
(b) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
(c) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions including fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals,

surface hazards or substandard width lanes that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge.
(2) Any person operating a bicycle upon a one-way roadway with two (2) or more marked traffic lanes may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of the

roadway as practicable*.

49-718. RIDING TWO ABREAST.

Persons riding bicycles upon a highway shall not ride more than two (2) abreast except on paths or parts of highways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles. Persons riding two (2) abreast shall not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic and, on a lane roadway, shall ride within a single lane.

49-719. CARRYING ARTICLES.

No person operating a bicycle shall carry any package, bundle or article which prevents the operator from using at least one (1) hand in the control and operation of the bicycle.

49-720. STOPPING — TURN AND STOP SIGNALS.

(1) A person operating a bicycle or human-powered vehicle approaching a stop sign shall slow down and, if required for safety, stop before entering the intersection. After slowing to a reasonable speed or stopping, the person shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another highway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time the person is moving across or within the intersection or junction of highways, except that a person after slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way if required, may cautiously make a turn or proceed through the intersection without stopping.

(2) A person operating a bicycle or human-powered vehicle approaching a steady red traffic-control signal shall stop before entering the intersection, except that a person after slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way if required, may cautiously make a right-hand turn without stopping or may cautiously make a left-hand turn onto a one-way highway without stopping.

(3) A person riding a bicycle shall comply with the provisions of section 49-643, Idaho Code.

(4) A signal of intention to turn right or left shall be given during not less than the last one hundred (100) feet traveled by the bicycle before turning, provided that a signal by hand and arm need not be given if the hand is needed in the control or operation of the bicycle.

49-721. BICYCLES ON SIDEWALKS.

(1) A person operating a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk, or across a highway upon and along a cross walk, shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian, and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing a pedestrian or another bicyclist.

(2) A person shall not operate a bicycle along and upon a sidewalk or across a highway upon and along a cross walk, where the use of bicycles is prohibited by official traffic-control devices.

(3) A person operating a vehicle by human power upon and along a sidewalk, or across a highway upon and along a cross walk, shall have all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances.

49-722. BICYCLE RACING.

(1) Bicycle racing on the highways is prohibited except as authorized in this section.

(2) Bicycle racing on a highway shall not be unlawful when a racing event has been approved by the department or local law enforcement authorities on any highway under their respective jurisdictions. Approval of bicycle highway racing events shall be granted only under conditions which assure reasonable safety for all race participants, spectators and other highway users, and which prevent unreasonable interference with traffic flow which would seriously inconvenience other highway users.

(3) By agreement with the approving authority, participants in an approved bicycle highway racing event may be exempt from compliance with any traffic laws otherwise applicable, provided that traffic control is adequate to assure the safety of all highway users.

49-723. LIGHT AND REFLECTOR REQUIRED AT NIGHT.

Every bicycle in use at the times described in section 49-903, Idaho Code, shall be operated with a light emitting device visible from a distance of at least five hundred (500) feet to the front, attached to the bicycle or the rider, and with a reflector clearly visible from the rear of the bicycle.

49-724. ADDITIONAL LIGHTS AUTHORIZED.

A bicycle or its rider may be equipped with lights or reflectors in addition to those required in section 49-723, Idaho Code.

* Practicable per the dictionary means capable of being put into practice or of being done or accomplished; feasible.

Dooring law

Idaho requires that no person open the door of a motor vehicle on a side available to moving traffic unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic. In addition, no person shall leave a door open on a side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.

Source: Idaho Code Ann. §49-607

Bicycling Under the Influence

In Idaho, bicycles are defined as vehicles. Idaho’s law prohibiting driving while under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances is written so that it applies to motor vehicles. However, motor vehicles and vehicles are defined to be the same under Idaho law and therefore Idaho’s DUI law applies to bicycles. Bicycles should not be operated while intoxicated and operating a bicycle while under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances may result in severe punishments.

Source: Idaho Code Ann. §§18-8004; 49-114; 49-123

Mandatory Use of Separated Facilities

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

Source: N/A

Sidewalk Riding

Idaho allows bicycles to operate on sidewalks subject to the following rules:

  • A person operating a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk, or across a highway upon and along a crosswalk, shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian, and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing a pedestrian or another bicyclist; and
  • A person shall not operate a bicycle along and upon a sidewalk or across a highway upon and along a crosswalk, where the use of bicycles is prohibited by official traffic control devices.

Source: Idaho Code Ann. §49-721

Vulnerable Road User Laws

Idaho does not define who is a “vulnerable road user,” but requires that every driver of a vehicle exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian or any person propelling a human-powered vehicle and give an audible signal when necessary. In addition, every driver must exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any obviously confused, incapacitated or intoxicated person.

Source: Idaho Code Ann. §49-615

Helmet Law

Idaho has no helmet law. It is legal for all persons of any age to operate a bicycle without wearing a helmet unless otherwise provided by a municipal regulation.

Source: N/A

TITLE 49 
MOTOR VEHICLES
CHAPTER 7 
PEDESTRIANS AND BICYCLES
49-720.  STOPPING — TURN AND STOP SIGNALS. (1) A person operating a bicycle or human-powered vehicle approaching a stop sign shall slow down and, if required for safety, stop before entering the intersection. After slowing to a reasonable speed or stopping, the person shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another highway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time the person is moving across or within the intersection or junction of highways, except that a person after slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way if required, may cautiously make a turn or proceed through the intersection without stopping.
(2)  A person operating a bicycle or human-powered vehicle approaching a steady red traffic control light shall stop before entering the intersection and shall yield to all other traffic. Once the person has yielded, he may proceed through the steady red light with caution. Provided however, that a person after slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way if required, may cautiously make a right-hand turn. A left-hand turn onto a one-way highway may be made on a red light after stopping and yielding to other traffic.
(3)  A person riding a bicycle shall comply with the provisions of section 49-643, Idaho Code.
(4)  A signal of intention to turn right or left shall be given during not less than the last one hundred (100) feet traveled by the bicycle before turning, provided that a signal by hand and arm need not be given if the hand is needed in the control or operation of the bicycle.
History:
[49-720, added 1988, ch. 265, sec. 209, p. 679; am. 2005, ch. 205, sec. 1, p. 615.]

To Find Bike Laws in other states please see the League of American Bicyclists page here: State Bike Laws

Jamie Lynn Morgan

A woman on a bicycle, working 4 self, carnivore, coffee, murder mysteries, red wine, sci-fi, micro-brews, & purple. Let's all be car(e) free together! #idahobike

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