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5 FAQ's on bicycle safety laws in Connecticut

Generally, bicyclists must obey the same rules of the road as motorists, such as stopping at red lights, signaling turns and complying with legal limits for alcohol use. However, unlike driving a vehicle, operating a bicycle does not require gaining a license or taking a test.

Whether you are considering using a bicycle as a more regular mode of transportation or you are unsure how to treat bicycles you encounter while driving, the following frequently asked questions may help familiarize you with bicycle safety laws in Connecticut.

Can bicyclists ride on sidewalks?

Bicyclists can ride on sidewalks and in crosswalks in Connecticut. However, cyclist must follow the traffic laws in place for pedestrians, such as using crosswalks and complying with crosswalk signals.

Are helmets required?

Children under the age of 16 must legally wear a helmet while riding a bicycle. Helmets that are approved by the Department of Transportation are strongly recommended for all riders.

Can vehicles pass cyclists?

There is a very clear difference in the speed capacity of a vehicle and a bike. If a motorist wishes to pass a bike, they may do so, but must allow a minimum of 3 feet of separation from the cyclist while passing.

Can bicyclists ride next to each other?

Connecticut law allows two cyclists to side by side.

Do bicycles need a headlight?

During nighttime and times of low visibility, bicyclists are required to be equipped with:

  • A front light, visible from 500 feet away
  • A rear red reflector or light, visible from 600 feet away
  • Reflective material, visible from 600 feet on each side

These are just a few of the laws that help keep cyclists, pedestrians and motorists safe.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a bicycle accident, contact an attorney as soon as possible. Cyclists who have suffered through pain, high medical bills or lost wages because of the negligence of other drivers may be entitled to personal injury compensation.

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