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When an individual wants to ride their bike around Phoenix, they should do so as safely as possible. Unfortunately, bicyclists face increased risks on the roadways, especially when vehicle drivers fail to pay attention to their surroundings. Here, our team of personal injury lawyers in Phoenix review the law surrounding bicycle riding in the city and throughout the state of Arizona. 

Phoenix bike laws

Overall Bicycle Laws in Arizona

Bicycles are essentially regarded as vehicles in the state of Arizona, meaning they are allowed to operate on most roadways throughout the state except for some major highways. Because bicycles are generally considered vehicles, bicyclists must:

  • Stop at stop signs and traffic signals (ARS 28-644)  
  • Yield to pedestrians at crosswalks and on sidewalks (ARS 28-792 and ARS 28-904)
  • Look behind them before they turn or change lanes, use hand signals to indicate the change, and yield to traffic already in the desired lane (ARS 28-756)

If a bicycle is operating slower than the speed limit posted on the roadway, they are required to ride as close to the right edge of the roadway as practicable, except when turning or passing (ARS 28-815). 

Bicycle Only Laws in Arizona

All of the laws that pertain only to bicyclists are important to ensure overall roadway safety. Some of the most pertinent laws that bicyclists must be aware of include:

  • Every bike must have a regular seat to sit on (ARS 28-813)
  • The bike must have a white headlight and a rear reflector or light when cycling at night (ARS 28-817)
  • Every bicycle must have at least one break that will skid when on dry, clean, and level pavement (ARS 28-817
  • Bicyclists are allowed to ride two abreast (side by side) (ARS 28-815)
  • Bicyclists cannot ride more than two abreast (side by side) unless on a bike path that allows otherwise (ARS 28-815)
  • Riders must keep one hand on the handlebars at all times (ARS 28-816)
  • Bicyclists cannot attach to any other vehicles or grab onto other vehicles on the roadway (ARS 28-814)

Bicycle Laws for Vehicle Drivers

Drivers in other vehicles on the roadway are required to treat bicyclists the same way that they treat other vehicles on the roadway. They should yield the right of way when required to do so, pass them in an appropriate manner, and not follow bicyclists too closely. 

Unfortunately, all too often, drivers ignore the rights of bicyclists on Arizona roadways. This can lead to careless operating behavior around a cyclist. 

What Happens After a Bicycle Accident in Phoenix?

If a bicyclist is harmed due to the careless or negligent actions of another driver on the roadway, they may be able to recover compensation for their losses. However, these claims can be notoriously complex. We encourage any injured bicyclist to reach out to a skilled bicycle accident attorney in Phoenix who can examine the facts of the case and help victims determine the best step forward for recovering compensation. Some types of compensation that may be available include coverage of medical expenses, property damage expenses, lost wages if a bicyclist is unable to work due to their injury, as well as physical and emotional pain and suffering damages.