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Granite State bicycle rules at a glance

September 28. 2013 9:22PM


State laws covering bicycles

Bicyclists have the same rights and duties as drivers of motor vehicles, according to New Hampshire law.

. Before entering the roadway, yield the right of way to approaching traffic.. A bicyclist traveling at less than normal traffic speed shall remain on the right side as far as possible except when unsafe to do so.

. Stop and yield to cross traffic at a stop sign.

. Don't cross the stop line when the traffic signal is red.

. Stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk without traffic signals, and don't pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. . In preparing to turn left, do so from the farthest left lane available.

. Don't ride on sidewalks.

. Don't ride the wrong way on a one-way street.

. Any bicyclist shall stop upon demand of a peace officer and permit his bicycle to be inspected. A bicyclist must wear at least one item of reflective apparel such as a reflective vest, jacket, or helmet from a half hour after sunset to a half hour before sunrise. When bicycling after dark, you also must use a white front headlight and a red rear light or rear reflector visible for 300 feet.. Ride on the right side of the road, with the flow of traffic.

. People riding bicycles two or more abreast shall not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic and, on laned roadway, shall ride within a single lane.. No bicycle shall be used to carry more people at one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped.. No bicyclist shall hitch onto a car or other vehicle moving upon a way.

. No person operating a bicycle shall carry any package, bundle or article that prevents the rider from keeping at least one hand on the handlebars.. No bicycle shall be operated unless the steering, brakes, tires and other required equipment are all in safe condition. . Riders under the age of 16 must wear a helmet when operating a bicycle on a public way.

For vehicles: Make room for bicyclists

. A motorist may overtake a bicycle only if it is safe to do so. Change lanes to pass if you can't pass safely in the same lane. Leave plenty of room and pass at a safe speed. Do not cross the center line if you can't see the road a sufficient distance to know that there are no oncoming vehicles. You are responsible for using due care to avoid colliding with a bicyclist. Don't take unnecessary risks for the sake of convenience.. When passing a bicycle, leave a reasonable and prudent distance. That should be at least 3 feet when the vehicle is traveling at 30 miles per hour or less and one extra foot for every 10 mph over 30.. If you think a bicyclist is farther out from the curb than necessary, look closely. Bicyclists need to ride at least a door's width away from parked cars to avoid being hit by a suddenly opening door. Bicyclists also need to allow room to avoid potholes and debris and to pass double-parked cars.. Bicyclists may occupy any part of a traffic lane when their safety warrants it. If the lane is too narrow to share, it is safer for the bicyclist to communicate that information by riding in the center of the lane.

Source: Office of the Governor, NH Department of Transportation, NH Department of Safety and NH Highway Safety Agency


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