Are you familiar with the bicycle laws in Washington State, as well as your local city and county bike laws? Know the rules of the road and increase your cycling safety.

What Are Washington State’s Bicycle Laws?

Just like cars, trucks, and motorcycles, there are specific traffic laws for bikers and cyclists on the roads of Washington State - they have both the same rights and the same responsibilities. Since cyclists are more likely to be seriously injured or killed in a collision with a larger, heavier, and faster gas-powered vehicle, the vast majority of these laws protect bicyclists from being harmed. Even if you don't have a bike or don't bike often, it is important to know the bicycling laws so that you are familiar with what bikers may do on the road you share with them.

Here is an outline of Washington bike laws, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT):

· In general, bikers must follow the rules of the road while on roadways, just as cars do. Cyclists not following these laws may be ticketed.

· Although there are no statewide helmet laws, may towns, counties, and areas in Washington State do require helmet use for bikers. Aberdeen, Bainbridge Island, Bremerton, Eatonville, Fircrest, Gig Harbor, Kent, King County, Lakewood, Milton, Orting, Pierce County, Port Angeles, Poulsbo, Puyallup, Renton, Snohomish County, Spokane, Tacoma, University Place, and all military installations have instated bike helmet laws.

· Some roads or sidewalks are closed to bikers, such as large highways and interstates - this is for the biker's safety. Other roads and sidewalks are closed to bikers for pedestrian safety or for congestion reasons.

· Cyclists may ride side by side on the road, as long as they are no more than two abreast.

· Bikers may ride at night as long as they have a rear red reflector and are wearing white or brightly colored clothing (which does not have to be reflective).  

Following these simple rules can prevent bicycle accidents and save lives, while not following these rules can often lead to injury. Make sure your entire family is familiar with the Washington State bike laws.