What are the bicycle laws in NYC?

Written by
Abraham Jaros
Updated on Saturday, Oct 21, 2023

Thousands of people ride bikes to get around New York City each day. And while bicycle accidents are a real risk, generally biking is a very efficient way to get to where you need to go and get some exercise along the way.
NYC Bicycle Laws

  • Due to the amount of pedestrian traffic on sidewalks, bicycles must ride in the street unless the bicyclist is under 12 years of age.
  • It is also important for bicyclists to follow the same traffic patterns as motor vehicle traffic. That means bicyclists should be riding with the flow of traffic and not against it.
  • According to The NYC Department of Transportation, every bicyclist under the age of 13 must wear a helmet by law.
  • Bicyclists should adhere to the motor vehicle traffic lights, unless there is a sign notifying them to follow the pedestrian lights.
  • New York City also has a variety of marked bicycle paths. It is important that bicyclists use these paths when they are available, unless a cyclist is turning or there is some other factor making the bike lane unsafe.

How else can I stay safe on NYC roads? Make sure that you have a white headlight and a red tail light, and that these are on at all times, not just when it is dark. Having a loud bell or horn as well as plenty of reflective material both on the bike and on your clothing will help drivers notice you.

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