Pennsylvania Laws Relating to Bicycling
Chapter 33. Rules of the Road in General
Subchapter A. General Provisions
Section 3301. Driving on right side of roadway.
- (a) General rule.--Upon all roadways of sufficient width, a vehicle shall
be driven upon the right half of the roadway except as follows:
- (1) When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same
direction where permitted by the rules governing such movement.
- (2) When an obstruction exists making it necessary to drive to the
left of the center of the roadway, provided the driver yields the
right-of-way to all vehicles traveling in the proper direction upon the
unobstructed portion of the roadway within such distance as to constitute
- (3) When and where official traffic-control devices are in place
designating a lane or lanes to the left side of the center of the
roadway for the movement indicated by the devices.
- (4) Upon a roadway restricted to one-way traffic.
- (5) When making a left turn as provided in sections 3322 (relating
to vehicle turning left) and 3331 (relating to required position and method
- (b) Vehicle proceeding at less than normal speed.--Upon all roadways
any vehicle proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time
and place and under the conditions then existing shall be driven in the
right-hand lane then available for traffic, or as close as practicable to
the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except when overtaking and
passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction or when preparing
for a left turn at an intersection or into an alley, private road or
driveway. This subsection does not apply to a driver who must necessarily
drive in a lane other than the right-hand lane to continue on his intended
Chapter 35. Special Vehicles and Pedestrians
Subchapter A. Operation of Pedalcycles
- 3501. Applicability of traffic laws to pedalcycles.
- 3502. Penalty for violation of subchapter.
- 3503. Responsibility of parent or guardian.
- 3504. Riding on pedalcycles.
- 3505. Riding on roadways and pedalcycle paths.
- 3506. Articles carried by operator.
- 3507. Lamps and other equipment on pedalcycles.
- 3508. Pedalcycles on sidewalks and pedalcycle paths.
- 3509. Parking.
- 3510. Pedalcycle helmets for certain persons.
- 3511. Pedalcycles prohibited on freeways.
- 3512. Pedalcycle Helmet Fund (Repealed).
- 3513. Civil immunity for lenders of pedalcycle helmets.
(a) General rule.--Every person riding a pedalcycle upon a roadway shall
be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties
applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this title, except as to special
provisions in this subchapter and except as to those provisions of this
title which by their nature can have no application.
(b) Application of subchapter.--The provisions of this subchapter apply
whenever a pedalcycle is operated upon any highway or upon any path set
aside for the exclusive use of pedalcycles subject to the exceptions
stated in subsection (a).
Any person violating any provision of this subchapter is guilty of a summary
offense and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of $10.
The parent of any child and the guardian of any ward shall not authorize
or knowingly permit the child or ward to violate any of the provisions
of this title relating to the operation of pedalcycles.
(a) Use of seat by operator.--A person propelling a pedalcycle shall not ride other than upon or astride a permanent and regular seat attached to the pedalcycle.
(b) Number or riders.--No pedalcycle shall be used to carry more persons
at one time than the number for which the pedalcycle is designed and equipped
except that an adult rider may transport a child in a pedalcycle child
carrier which is securely attached to the pedalcycle or in a trailer which
is towed by a pedalcycle.
(a) General rule.--Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c), every
person operating a pedalcycle upon a highway shall obey the applicable
rules of the road as contained in this title.
(b) Operation on shoulder.--A pedalcycle may be operated on the shoulder
of a highway and shall be operated in the same direction as required of
vehicles operated on the roadway.
(c) Slower than prevailing speeds.--A pedalcycle operated at slower than
prevailing speed shall be operated in accordance with the provisions of
section 3301(b) (relating to driving on right side of roadway) unless it
is unsafe to do so.
(d) One-way roadways.--Any person operating a pedalcycle upon a roadway
which carries traffic in one direction only and has two or more marked
traffic lanes may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of the roadway
as practicable, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or
one proceeding in the same direction.
(e) Limitation on riding abreast.--Persons riding pedalcycles upon a
roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of
roadways set aside for the exclusive use of pedalcycles.
(f) Mandatory use of available pedalcycle path.--Whenever a lane or path
for pedalcycles has been provided as a part of a highway and mandatory
use of the lane or path has been indicated by official traffic control
devices, pedalcycle riders shall use the lane or path and shall not use
any other part of the highway. This subsection does not apply when use
of the pedalcycle lane or path is not possible, safe or reasonable.
No person operating a pedalcycle shall carry any package, bundle or
article which prevents the driver from keeping at least one hand upon
(a) Lamps and reflectors.--Every pedalcycle when in use between sunset
and sunrise shall be equipped on the front with a lamp which emits a
heath of white light intended to illuminate the pedalcycle operator's
path and visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front.
Operators of pedalcycles may supplement the required front lamp with a
white flashing lamp, light-emitting diode or similar device to enhance
their visibility to other traffic and with a red reflector on the near
which shall be visible from all distances from 500 feet to the rear and
with an amber reflector on each side. A lamp emitting a red flashing lamp,
light-emitting diode or similar device visible from a distance of 500
feet to the rear may be used in addition to the red reflector. A lamp
worn by the operator of a pedalcycle shall comply with the requirements
of this subsection if the lamp can be seen at the distances specified.
(b) Audible signal devices.--A pedalcycle may be equipped with a device
capable of giving a signal audible for a distance of at least 100 feet
except that a pedalcycle shall not be equipped with nor shall any person
use upon a pedalcycle any siren.
(c) Brakes.--Every pedalcycle shall be equipped with a braking system
which will stop the pedalcycle in 15 feet from an initial speed of 15
miles per hour on a dry. level and clean pavement.
(a) Right-of-way to pedestrians.--A person riding a pedalcycle upon a
sidewalk or pedalcycle path used by pedestrians shall yield the right-of-way
to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and
passing a pedestrian.
(b) Business districts.--A person shall not ride a pedalcycle upon a
sidewalk in a business district unless permitted by official traffic-control
devices, nor when a usable pedalcycle-only lane has been provided adjacent
to the sidewalk.
- (a) Sidewalks.--
- (1) A person may park a pedalcycle on a sidewalk unless prohibited
or restricted by an official traffic control device.
- (2) A pedalcycle parked on a sidewalk shall not impede the normal
and reasonable movement of pedestrian or other traffic.
- (b) Roadways.--
- (1) A pedalcycle may be parked on the roadway at any angle to the
curb or edge of the roadway at any location where parking is allowed.
- (2) A pedalcycle may be parked on the roadway abreast of another
pedalcycle or pedalcycles near the side of the roadway at any location
where parking is allowed.
- (3) A person shall not park a pedalcycle on a roadway in such a
manner as to obstruct the movement of a legally parked motor vehicle.
- (4) In all other respects, pedalcycles parked anywhere on a highway
shall conform with the provisions of Subchapter E of Chapter 33 (relating
to stopping, standing and parking).
- (a) General rule.--A person under 12 years of age shall not operate a
pedalcycle or ride as a passenger on a pedalcycle unless the person is
wearing a pedalcycle helmet meeting the standards of the American National
Standards Institute, the American Society for Testing and Materials, the
Snell Memorial Foundation's Standards for Protective Headgear for Use
in Bicycling or any ether nationally recognized standard for pedalcycle
helmet approval. This subsection shall also apply to a person who rides:
- (1) upon a pedalcycle while in a restraining seat attached to a
- (2) in a trailer towed by a pedalcycle.
- (b) Helmet to be labeled.--Any helmet sold or offered for sale for
use by operators and passengers of pedalcycles shall be labeled in
accordance with the standard described in subsection (a), which shall
constitute the manufacturer's certification that the helmet conforms to
the applicable safety standards.
- (b.1) Sale of helmet--No person shall sell or offer for sale for
use by an operator or passenger of a pedalcycle a helmet which is not
of a type meeting the requirements established by this section.
- (b.2) Waiver of fine.--If a person receives a citation issued by the
proper authority for violation of subsection (a), a district justice,
magistrate or judge shall dismiss the charges if the person prior to or
at his hearing displays evidence of acquisition of a helmet meeting the
standards prescribed in subsection (a) to such district justice, magistrate
or judge. Sufficient evidence shall include a receipt mailed-to the
appropriate court officer which evidences purchase or transfer of such
a helmet from another helmet owner, evidenced by a notarized letter.
- (b.3) Exemption.--This section shall not apply to a child under 12
years of age who can produce a statement from the family's church
authorities attesting that it is against the tenets of the family's
religion to-wear a helmet.
- (c) Civil actions.--In no event shall a violation or alleged violation
of subsection (a) be used as evidence in a trial of any civil action; nor
shall any jury in a civil action be instructed that any conduct did
constitute-or could be interpreted by them to constitute a violation of
subsection (a); nor shall failure to use a pedalcycle helmet be considered
as contributory negligence nor shall failure to use a pedalcycle helmet
be admissible as evidence in the trial of any civil action.
- (d) Penalty.--Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, any
violation of subsection (a) is punishable by a fine, including all
penalties, assessments and court costs imposed on the convicted person
not to exceed $25. The parent or legal guardian having control or custody
of a person under l2 years of age whose conduct violates this section
shall be jointly and severally liable with the person for the amount of
the fine imposed.
- (e) Definitions.--As used in this section, the term "wearing
a pedalcycle helmet" means having a pedalcycle helmet of good fit
fastened securely upon the head with the helmet straps.
- (a) General rule.-No person shall ride a pedalcycle on a freeway.
- (b) Exceptions,--
- (1) The department and local authorities, on highways under their
respective jurisdictions, may issue permits for a procession or event
prohibited under subsection (a) upon a determination that
- (i) The pedalcycle procession or event is of national, State or
regional interest; and
- (ii) the results of an engineering and traffic study indicate that
the procession or event can be conducted with safety.
- (2) On State-designated freeways, pedalcycles may be authorized under
the following limitations:
- (i) The pedalcycler is 16 years of age or older or is accompanied
by a pedalcycler 18 years of age or older.
- (ii) A written request for review of the freeway route based on the
potential unavailability of a reasonable alternate route is made to the
- (iii) The department determines that no reasonable alternate route
- (iv) The department publishes a notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin
authorizing pedalcycle access to the freeway. The notice shall constitute
approval for the persons authorized under subparagraph (i) to ride a
pedalcycle on the State-designated freeway.
- (c) Action by local authorities.--Action taken by local authorities
regarding permission to use pedalcycles on freeways under their
jurisdiction shall be:
- (1) by ordinance of the local governing body; or
- (2) by a commission or public official authorized to act on specified
- (d) Operation on shoulder.--If the department authorizes pedalcycle
access to a freeway, the pedalcycle shall be operated upon the shoulder
of that freeway whenever practicable.
No person or organization who or which lends to another person or
organization a pedalcycle helmet, as described in section 3510 (relating
to pedalcycle helmets for certain persons), shall he liable for any civil
damages resulting from any act or omission, except any act or omission
intentionally designed to harm or any grossly negligent act or omission
resulting in harm to another.
SPECIAL NOTE! A known drafting error exists in Section 3507(a) Lamps and
reflectors. The second sentence reads as if the red rear reflector is
optional. The technical correction to require a red rear reflector is
awaiting submission to the General Assembly. Questions can be directed
to the contributor, Tom Helm, Executive Director of the Bicycling Federation
of Pennsylvania, at