Don't Be a Road Warrior
Our reputation is riding on you.
Thomas M. Menino, Mayor
Andrea d'Amato, Commissioner
Boston Transportation Department
For motorists, Don't be a Road Hog
Bicycles are Vehicles
According to Massachusetts law, bicyclists have the same rights and duties
as drivers of motor vehicles. (MGL Ch.85 Sec. 11B; BTD Art. 1) However,
the reputation of all bicyclists is hampered by the few cyclists who ride
outside the law. Riding by the same set of rules as motorists makes you
predictable and greatly reduces your risk of a crash. Law- abiding actions
send a message to motorists: "I belong here. And I'm going to share the road
in a predictable, courteous wayQ just as I expect you to."
Two Wheels or Four, The Law is the Same
- Before entering the roadway, yield the right of way to traffic approaching.
(BTD Art. 6 Sec.22)
- Do not cross the stop line when the traffic signal is red. (BTD Art. 6 Sec.15)
- Stop and yield to cross traffic at a stop sign. (MGL Ch.89 Sec.9)
- Stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk without traffic signals, and do not pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. (MGL Ch. 89 Sec. 11)
- In preparing a left turn, look behind and merge to the center line or left turn lane as traffic permits, signaling to get the cooperation of following drivers as necessary. (MGL Ch. 89 Sec. 4B; MGL Ch. 90 Sec. 14)
- You may not ride on sidewalks. (BTD Art. 6 Sec. 18)
Where To Ride on the Road
- Ride on the right side of the road, with the flow of traffic.
(BTD Art. 6 Sec. 2)
Motorists and pedestrians do not look for bicyclists coming from the wrong
direction. Riding against traffic is the single largest cause of collisions
- Look ahead for potholes, debris, and other obstacles. As soon as you
see one, look behind and merge left, as traffic permits, well before you
reach the obstacle.
- Do not get close enough to parked cars so that opening doors may hit you.
- Do not pass on the right of cars turning right.
- Where there is space, leave enough room for faster traffic to pass.
You may occupy any part of a lane when your safety warrants it. Never
compromise your safety for the convenience of a motorist behind you.
Special Rules for Bicycles
- Your bicycle must have a white front light and a red rear light or
rear reflector during hours of darkness. (MGL Ch. 85 Sec. 11B)
- Your bicycle must be able to stop within 30 feet from a speed of 15
mph when on a dry, clean, hard, level surface. (MGL Ch. 85 Sec. 11B)
- If you are 12 or younger, you must use a bicycle helmet.
(MGL Ch. 85 Sec. 11B) Wearing a properly- fitted helmet greatly reduces
the risk of brain injuries, the leading type of fatal and disabling injuries
- When signaling a turn or a stop you may use either hand. (MGL Ch. 85 Sec. 11B)
- You must give your name and address when asked by a police officer.
(MGL Ch. 85 Sec. 11C)
Classes in Riding Skills & Bicycle Maintenance
Improve your city bicycling skills. Take a class.
orBikes Not Bombs, (617)522-0222.