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Lousiana Laws Related to Bicycling

BikeBR A Community Bikeability Tool

BICYCLE & PEDESTRIAN SAFETY This document is in PDF format.  Download the free viewer from www.adobe.com | NEIGHBORHOOD BICYCLE SURVEY
BICYCLING TO WORK | HELPFUL LINKS
BICYCLE ROUTES, MAPS AND FACILITIES | CHILDREN AND STUDENTS ON BIKES

BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN PLANNING AND MEETINGS


RS 32:106 METHODS OF GIVING HAND AND ARM SIGNALS
RS 32:193 OPERATION OF BICYCLES; GENERAL PROVISION
RS 32:194 TRAFFIC LAWS APPLY TO PERSONS RIDING BICYCLES
RS 32:195 RIDING ON BICYCLES
RS 32:196 CLINGING TO VEHICLES
RS 32:197 RIDING ON ROADWAYS & BICYCLE PATHS
RS 32:199 BICYCLE HELMETS; RESTRAINING SEATS
RS 32:203 MOTOR VEHICLES OPERATING IN BICYCLE LANES
RS 32:329.1 BICYCLES; FRONT LAMPS; REAR LAMPS; SIDE AND REAR REFLECTORS;
RS 32:346 BRAKES ON BIKES
RS 32:76.1 LIMITATIONS ON PASSING BICYCLES

RS 32:106 Methods of Giving Hand and Arm Signals

All signals herein required to be given from the left side of the vehicle in the following manner and such signals shall indicate as follows:

Left Turn
Hand and arm extended horizontally with the had open and the back of the hand to the rear

Right Turn
Hand and arm extended upward at the angle of forty-five degrees from shoulder or elbow, with the hand open and back of the hand to the rear

Stop or Decrease Speed
Start hand and arm extended downward at an angle of forty-five degrees from shoulder or elbow, with the hand open and the back of the hand to the rear

RS 32:193 Operation of Bicycles; General Provision

The regulations applicable to bicyclists shall apply whenever a bicycle is operated upon a highway or upon any path set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.

RS 32:194 Traffic Laws Apply to Persons Riding Bicycles

Every person riding a bicycle upon a highway of this state shall be granted all the rights and shall be subject to all the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle.

RS 32:195 Riding on Bicycles

A person propelling a bicycle shall not ride other than upon or astride a permanent or regular seat attached thereto.

No bicycle shall be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped.

A person operating a bicycle shall at all times keep at least one hand upon the handle bars thereof.

RS 32:196 Clinging to Vehicles

No person riding upon any bicycle shall attach himself or the bicycle to any vehicle upon a highway.

RS 32:197 Riding on Roadways and Bicycle Paths

A. Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction, except under any of the following circumstances:

(1)  When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.

(2) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.

(3)When reasonably necessary to avoid fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lane or any other conditions that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway. For purposes of this Paragraph, a "substandard width lane" is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.

(4)  When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.

B. Repealed by Acts 2011, No. 244, 3.

C. Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.

D. Persons riding bicycles shall be allowed to operate on the shoulder of a roadway

E.  Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway or a highway, where there are two or more marked traffic lanes and traffic travels in only one direction, may ride as near the left-hand curb or shoulder of that roadway as practicable when preparing for a left turn.

RS 32:199 Bicycle Helmets; Restraining Seats

With regard to any bicycle used on a public roadway, public bicycle path, or other public right-of-way, no parent, guardian, or person with legal responsibility for the safety and welfare of a child shall knowingly allow any of the following:

Such child under the age of twelve to operate or ride as a passenger on a bicycle without wearing an approved helmet of good fit fastened securely upon the head with the straps of the helmet.

Such child who weighs less than forty pounds or is less than forty inches in height to be a passenger on a bicycle without being properly seated in and adequately secured to a restraining seat.

Notice shall be provided in accordance with the following provisions:

A person regularly engaged in the business of selling or renting bicycles shall post a sign stating the following: "Louisiana law requires a bicycle operator or passenger under the age of twelve years to wear a bicycle helmet when riding a bicycle. Louisiana law also requires a passenger who weighs less than forty pounds or is less than forty inches in height to be properly seated in and adequately secured to a restraining seat."

The sign must be at least twenty-four inches in length and twelve inches in width. The lettering on the sign must be at least one inch in height. The sign must be posted conspicuously so that it is clearly visible to all persons buying or renting bicycles.

The issuance of a citation for a violation of this Section shall not be prima facie evidence of negligence. The comparative negligence statutes of Louisiana shall apply in these cases as in all other cases of negligence.

The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission shall provide funds to the Louisiana Safe Kids Coalition to be used for the purchase of bicycle helmets. These helmets shall be distributed by the Louisiana Safe Kids Coalition to indigent persons in furtherance of the provisions of this Section.

The provisions of R.S. 32:57 shall not apply to a violation of this Section. No civil penalties or court costs shall be assessed for any violation of this Section.

RS 32:203 Motor Vehicles Operating in Bicycle Lanes

A. No person shall operate a motor vehicle in a bicycle lane except as follows:

(1) To prepare for a turn within a distance of two hundred feet from the intersection.

(2) To enter or leave the roadway onto an alley, private road, or driveway.

(3) To enter or leave a parking space when parking is permitted adjacent to the bicycle lane.

B. Any person operating a motor vehicle upon a bicycle lane in accordance with Subsection A of this Section shall yield the right-of-way to all bicycles and electric mobility aids within the bicycle lane.

C. This Section shall not prohibit the use of a motorized bicycle in a bicycle lane when the operator travels at no speed greater than what is reasonable or prudent, has due regard for visibility, traffic conditions, and the condition of the roadway surface of the bicycle lane and in a manner which does not endanger the safety of bicyclists.

D. In case of an emergency, the driver of a motor vehicle may lawfully operate the vehicle in a bicycle lane in accordance with the normal standards of prudent conduct to protect himself and others from harm. When the emergency ends, the motor vehicle shall not be operated in the bicycle lane.

RS 32:329.1 Bicycles; front lamps; rear lamps; side and rear reflectors

A. Any bicycle when in use at the times specified in R.S. 32:301 shall be equipped with the following:

(1) A lamp mounted on the front that shall emit a white light visible from a distance of at least five hundred feet to the front. A generator-powered lamp that emits light only when the bicycle is moving may be used to meet this requirement..

(2) A lamp mounted on the rear that shall emit either a flashing or steady red light visible from a distance of five hundred feet to the rear.

(3) A red reflector mounted on the rear and a reflector on each side facing outward at a right angle to the bicycle frame that shall be visible from all distances from one hundred feet to six hundred feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful lower beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle.

B. A bicycle or its operator may be equipped with lights or reflectors in addition to those required by Subsection A of this Section, except that red lamps and red reflectors shall not be used on the front of the bicycle and white lamps and white reflectors shall not be used on the rear of the bicycle.
 

C. A lamp or lamps worn by the operator of a bicycle shall comply with the requirements of Subsection A of this Section, if the lamp or lamps can be seen at the distances specified.

D. No person shall operate any bicycle on a state highway, parish road, or city street at a time specified in R.S. 32:301 unless such bicycle is equipped with lamps and reflectors to comply with Subsection A of this Section. Whoever violates this Section shall be subject to a fine of not more than twenty-five dollars which shall include all costs of court.

E. No retailer, distributor, wholesaler, or manufacturer in this state shall sell or offer for sale any bicycle unless such bicycle is equipped with lamps and reflectors as required by Subsection A of this Section.

F. This Section shall not apply to operators of bicycles or bicycles while the operator or bicycle is engaged in sanctioned competition races or to bicycles while utilized by peace officers in furtherance of their official duties.

RS 32:346 Brakes on Bicycles

Every bicycle shall be equipped with a brake which will enable the operator to make the braked wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement.

RS 32:76.1 Limitations on Passing Bicycles

A. This Section shall be known as the Colin Goodier Protection Act.

B. The operator of a motor vehicle, when overtaking and passing a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on the roadway, shall exercise due care while the motor vehicle is passing the bicycle and shall leave a safe distance between the motor vehicle and the bicycle of not less than three feet and shall maintain such clearance until safely past the overtaken bicycle. An operator of a motor vehicle may pass a bicycle traveling in the same direction in a no-passing zone only when it is safe to do so.

C. The Department of Public Safety and Corrections, office of motor vehicles, is directed to include a summary of this Section in any instructional publication for drivers.

 D. The Department of Transportation and Development is directed to place signs in areas frequently used by bicyclists in an effort to make motorists aware of the need to share the road with bicyclists.

 E. The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission is directed to engage in a public awareness campaign to notify motorists and bicyclists of the provisions of this Section.

F. Any person who violates this Section shall be fined not more than two hundred fifty dollars.