Biking is a great way to get around town if you want to add exercise to your day and achieve a greener commute. However, bike accidents with motor vehicles can result in serious personal injury.
Protect yourself by understanding the traffic laws that apply to Connecticut cyclists.
Bike helmet laws
Under Conor’s Law, which the state passed in 2016, children ages 16 and younger must wear a helmet whenever they are on a bike, roller skates, skateboard or scooter. This law applies even when the parents have permitted the child to ride without a helmet.
If you plan to ride after dark or during inclement weather, make sure that your bike has the right lights and reflectors. Your front light must be visible at night from 500 feet, red rear reflectors must be visible at night from 600 feet and side reflectors must be visible at night from 600 feet.
Sharing the road
Cyclists in Connecticut may ride on sidewalks, but pedestrians have the right of way. Check local laws, because some towns and cities prohibit sidewalk bike riding. In all municipalities, bikes have the right to share the road with cars and must follow the same traffic laws that apply to motor vehicles.
When on the road, stay as far to the right as possible, and travel in the same direction as traffic. You may leave the rightmost area of the road if you are turning left, passing another vehicle, cannot safely travel side-by-side with a car in the same lane, approaching a right-turn-only intersection or riding on a one-way street.
Cyclists can ride two-by-two in the same lane as long as doing so does not negatively impact traffic flow. To turn left, you can either cross at the light as you would if you were a pedestrian, or move into the left lane like a car and signal your turn, proceeding when it is safe to do so.