Rights and responsibilities of cyclists

Bikers are full-fledged and numerous participants on the road. The system of legal relations regulates the status and duties of the bicyclist. But often the two-wheeled vehicle irritates car drivers. The bicycle is lost among cars because of its small size and silent movement. According to motorists, it appears out of nowhere, and the cyclist does not know the rules and does not care about his or her own safety. To minimize conflict situations, the government approved the traffic regulations, which are based on the European Concept and national legislation.

Obligations of a bicyclist


According to statistics, there were 5,056 crashes involving bikers in 2017. As a result, 382 were killed and about 5,000 were injured. In 2020, the rate is up 5 percent. Driving on crosswalks and facing cars, ignoring red lights and turn signals, carrying cargo and passengers, and many other violations are the reason for the appearance of a special section in the traffic code, which stipulates the rights and responsibilities of cyclists on the road. The owner of a two-wheeled vehicle must:

  1. Know and comply with the traffic rules.
  2. Keep the vehicle in good working order in accordance with the standard requirements for the technical condition of the bicycle.
  3. Equip two-wheelers with a bell and reflectors (white on the front, red on the back, orange lights on the sides).
  4. Adjust the steering, have reliable brakes.
  5. Before you go out, check the saddle mounts, inflate the tires.
  6. Let people through at crosswalks.
  7. Not to be a nuisance on the roads, not to create emergency situations for the participants of traffic.
  8. Special gestures in advance to warn of the desire of the cyclist to change lanes, turn sideways, slow down or stop:
  • outstretched arm (right arm) toward the turn or left arm bent at right angles in the elbow indicate the cyclist’s desire to lane or turn to the right;
  • the change of motion to the other side is indicated with the left arm or the right arm bent at the elbow at a 90 degree angle;
  • before stopping or braking, the biker must raise the straightened arm up.
  1. The bicyclist should make sure the motorist understands his intentions.
  2. Safety requirements must be followed:
  • ride in a single lane with other cyclists (up to 10 people);
  • to ride on the right edge of the road, observing the distance of up to 1 m;
  • to bypass (overtake) cars only on the left side;
  • wear personal protective equipment (bicycle helmet, gloves, etc.).

Biker is obliged to choose a bicycle path for movement, if it is located near the track. If there are obstacles (garbage, parked cars), move to the roadway.


cyclist bans

A bicyclist is the owner of a two-wheeled vehicle and at the same time a driver taking part in road traffic. A highwayman must know the applicable Rules and be responsible for violating them. What’s not allowed?

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Riding a two-wheeler without the help of hands (not holding on to the steering wheel). When riding like this on the edge of the highway, on the side of the road, on the sidewalk, dashing cyclists can fall right under the wheels of the car and get a serious injury.

What’s prohibited?

  1. Ride onto highways. For cars in most countries, the limit is 120-130 km / hr. The technical specifications of bicycles do not allow you to travel on expressways.
  2. The sign “Road for cars” (5.1) prohibits cyclists to ride on the tracks adapted for cars, buses and motorcycles.
  3. You may not ride on paths for pedestrians.
  4. To turn around, turn to the left in places with streetcar tracks and two solid lanes. In this case, you need to switch to pedestrian mode and roll the bike.
  5. Carry a load exceeding the size of the bike by half a meter.
  6. Use a two-wheeler as a tow vehicle (except for a bicycle trailer).
  7. Ride with an adult sitting on the frame or trunk.
  8. Talk on your cell phone while riding.
  9. Carry toddlers under 7 years of age if there is not an equipped seat.

Do not ride while under the influence of alcohol, medication, or when you are ill or fatigued. When establishing guilt in creating an emergency situation, it does not matter whether the bicycle was driven while intoxicated or the biker accompanied it while walking.

In Russia the permissible level of alcohol in the blood is 0.16 mg/L of inhaled air. In Austria it is 0.4, and in Sweden it is 0.2.


Professionals pay attention to the inconsistency of current norms of traffic regulations. For example, F. Zeimalov, PhD in law, argues: the legal status of the cyclist as a road user needs improvement. Can a person who drives a two-wheeled vehicle move in the outer lane and turn right? Are teenagers allowed to ride on the road or side of the road? What should a bicyclist do if traffic directions cross and the order of precedence does not work for the biker?

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A study of the problems led to the conclusion: drivers often use the rules that were studied decades ago, and cyclists in 40% of the cases cross the roadway in the wrong places. To avoid problems, cyclists are allowed the following:

  1. Use a bicycle as a means of transportation, sporting equipment for exercise, and a means for recreational and leisure activities.
  2. Ride on bicycle lanes, specially delineated lanes.
  3. Ride on the right side of the roadway.
  4. The updated rules allow you to ride more than 1 meter away from the edge of the track.
  5. It is allowed to drive on the side of the road if there is no possibility to move on the road.
  6. It is allowed to use the marked part of the road where it is forbidden to park cars.
  7. To move on horizontal markings for cyclists.
  8. Ride on the track in groups (columns).
  9. A bicyclist over the age of 14 is allowed to ride on the roadway (if there are no bike lanes or paths nearby).
  10. It is allowed to carry a child under 7 years old in a special seat.
  11. You can use the designated part of the road where cars are not allowed to park.
  12. Bicyclists are allowed to use designated lanes for public transportation.
  13. The traffic rules allow bikers to keep a dog on a special leash while riding.

Bicyclists are allowed to ride without a helmet. For safety reasons, it is recommended to use a protective piece of equipment.

Liability of cyclists for traffic violations

cyclist talking on his cell phone

Regulations contain the basic requirements and sanctions for cyclists who violate the law. These are the Traffic Code (paragraph 24) and the Administrative Code (Article 12.29). Bikers, as well as drivers of motor vehicles, are participants of road traffic. Violations are fixed by the state traffic inspector, who has the right to issue a warning, draw up a protocol and write a fine. Administrative responsibility for driving a two-wheeler by a drunk driver is fixed by the Clause 27 of traffic rules. Stricter sanctions are stipulated by the Code of Administrative Offences.

Fines (from 800 rubles and above) are imposed for violation of the rules without causing damage to others. If the fault of the cyclist caused injury, monetary penalties increase by 200-700 rubles. Administrative responsibility is imposed from the age of 16 years.

Let’s list, for which violations can be punished:

  • obstructing the road;
  • driving in a state of intoxication;
  • Causing harm to the health of another traffic participant;
  • Carrying a load that doesn’t fit the dimensions of a bicycle;
  • turning (U-turn) on roads with streetcar traffic;
  • crossing of the lanes designating the same direction;
  • towing vehicles;
  • crossing a crosswalk on a bicycle;
  • absence of a sound signal and light-reflectors;
  • creating an emergency situation;
  • riding a defective bicycle;
  • riding without support on the handlebars or with your feet up on the frame;
  • carrying passengers.
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There are cases when a cyclist can be fined for riding during snowfall or ice. Traffic police inspectors consider the situation dangerous for other road users.

Brief information is presented in the table.

Violation Amount of fine (RUR)
Talking on the phone, driving a two-wheeler without steering support 300-500
Riding on the sidewalk, roadsides, carriageway in the presence of a bicycle lane 800-1000
Driving on the autobahn 1000
State of intoxication 1000-1500
Crossing a crosswalk 800-1000
Light or moderate injury to a person (driving on the sidewalk) 1000-1500
Obstruction on the roads 1000-1500

There are no penalties for riding without a bicycle helmet and failure to comply with the speed limit.

Causes of accidents involving bicyclists:

  1. Inattention on the roads.
  2. Riding on sidewalks.
  3. Lack of reflectors and lights on the bicycle.
  4. Crossing crosswalks.
  5. Underestimating the speed and braking distance of a bicycle.
  6. Unpredictable maneuvers.
  7. Carrying large, long loads.
  8. Unsatisfactory technical condition of the bicycle.

If the cyclist is found guilty of an accident, the victim is compensated voluntarily or through the courts.


70 years ago, on the territory of the former Soviet Union, there was a law that prohibited driving a bicycle without a special type of license. The license was issued after passing the traffic rules exam. The cyclist was obliged to register the vehicle and get a license plate, which was necessarily displayed on the bicycle. Currently, road safety remains one of the priorities of state policy. Requirements for the technical characteristics of bicycles, as well as their management are enshrined in law. The duty of a competent biker (as a driver of two-wheeled transport) is to know and follow the rules of travel on the road. Responsibility for riding on the road will prevent accidents and help the cyclist avoid difficult situations on the road. Ride comfortably and safely!

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