NC Biking Rules of the Road
In North Carolina, bicyclists have the same rights and duties as motorists and are subject to traffic vehicle laws. Some laws changed in 2016. For a complete list of NC bike laws, visit ncdot.gov/bikeped/lawspolicies.
Follow these Rules of the Road to help keep you and your loved ones safe. Información en Español.
- Ride predictably.
- Ride defensively.
- Follow ALL traffic laws – bicycles are vehicles in North Carolina.
- Always ride in the same direction as traffic and as far to the right as practicable.
- Indicate your turns by pointing left or right.
- Scan behind you before changing lanes.
- Do not filter up by stopped cars at intersections.
- Avoid swerving between parked cars.
- Make eye contact with motorists, especially at intersections and driveways.
- Give an audible warning to pedestrians when approaching from behind.
- Be safe, be visible.
- Don’t wear headphones while riding.
- Wear a properly fitted helmet and replace after any impact or crash.
- Find a well-fitted bike.
- Wear brightly colored or reflective clothing.
- Use hand signals for turning:
Also, North Carolina law requires children under age 16 to wear a helmet and for bicyclists at night to have a white front headlight, a rear reflector and a red rear light or reflective clothing visible from 300 feet.
Changes were made to NC's bike laws in July 2016:
- Drivers can pass bicycles in no-passing zones if the motorist gives a berth of at least 4 feet and if the cyclist is not making a left turn.
- Cyclists must have a front and rear light – or wear a reflective vest or clothing that is visible from at least 300 feet to the rear.
- Clarified hand signals.
- Stiffer penalties for aggressive drivers.