Pennsylvania Special Laws Bicyclists

Categorized: Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents

Pennsylvania Special Laws Bicyclists

Yes, there are specific Pennsylvania bicycle laws. Read through this overview before hitting the road this summer. Be sure to pass along the information to your children as they learn to love riding outside in Pennsylvania’s extensive discontinuous trail systems like the Schuylkill Trail or the Great Allegheny Passage.

Helmet Law

Not all states in the nation have a law regarding whether or not cyclists must wear a helmet. In Pennsylvania, the law does not require adult cyclists to be helmeted; however, it does require that all cyclists under the age of 12 or bicycle passengers to wear a helmet. As a note, though, failure to wear a helmet cannot be used against an injured cyclist to place contributory negligence on the cyclist, per Pennsylvania Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3510(c).

Riding in the Right-Hand Lane

Pennsylvania law requires all cyclists to ride in the right-hand lane of traffic, or as close to the edge of the road/curb/sidewalk as possible. This rule is waived in the following events.

  • The cyclist is traveling at the same speed as traffic
  • A cyclist is overtaking and passing a vehicle
  • When the cyclist is preparing to make a left-hand turn


The requirement is also not enforceable in the event that the right-hand lane/area next to the curb is unsafe, or if only one lane of traffic is available.

Riding on Sidewalks

Many states prohibit cyclists from riding on the sidewalk at all. However, the state of Pennsylvania allows cyclists to ride on the sidewalk if certain criteria are met.

  • The cyclist doesn’t ride on the sidewalk when an a bike lane is available
  • The cyclist does not ride on the sidewalk in a business district
  • The cyclist always yields to pedestrians

Riding While Under the Influence

The state of Pennsylvania requires all drivers and riders, regardless of vehicle type, to ride sober. As such, cyclists are prohibited from riding under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Failure to comply with this law is a crime and is punishable under the law.

Learn More About Bicycle Laws & Safety in the State of Pennsylvania

May is National Bike Month! You can read about National Bike Month and bicycle safety on our pedestrian and bicycle accident blog. If you are ever involved in a bicycle crash where you were operating your bike safely and within the law, you need an attorney to help you file a claim. At Cordisco & Saile LLC, our attorneys are ready to get to work as soon as we speak with you. To learn more, call our offices as soon as you’re able at 215-642-2335.

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