Please click on the links below to show relevant State (Ohio Revised Code ORC) and City laws (City of Columbus Code CoCC). The citation and text of the laws will be displayed when you click.
Definition of a bicycle. Under State of Ohio law and Columbus City Code, bicycles have the same right-of-way rights as motor vehicles.
Definitions of “vehicle,” “bicycle” and children’s non-motorized vehicles
How City of Columbus Code applies to bicycles
Columbus bikeways include shared-use paths, bike lanes and bike routes
By law, bicycles belong on the road
Bicycles, as motor vehicles, must obey traffic laws
Bicyclists should ride to the right side of the right lane
Bicyclists should ride single file or no more than two abreast
Circumstances for when a bicyclist may move to the center of the lane
City of Columbus Children’s Bicycle Helmet requirement: All bicycle and non-motorized vehicle (bicycles, skates, rollerblades, skateboards and scooters) riders under the age of 18 must wear a bicycle helmet
Bicycle rider allowing faster vehicles to pass
Not compromising the safety of a bicyclist related to being passed by faster vehicles
Prohibitions on passing a vehicle on the right side/when passing on right is allowed:
Drivers must audibly signal before passing another vehicle, must pass to the left at a safe distance and return to the right side when safely clear of the overtaken vehicle
Overtaken vehicle must not increase speed until completely passed
Automobiles are permitted to pass bikes in no passing/hazardous zones (solid yellow centerline) if bicyclist is going less than half the maximum speed, and there is sufficient clear space in which to do so without exceeding the speed limit
Bicycle riders should ride as far to the right side of the roadway as practicable
Bicycle riders should ride single file or no more than two-abreast
Bicycle riders may move to the center of the lane when it is unreasonable or unsafe to ride to the right edge of the right lane
Bicycle riders are not required to ride in bike lanes if bike lanes are on the roadway
Cities, Counties, townships and villages must conform with state department of transportation manual and specifications for uniform traffic control devices, including signals and signage
Bicycle riders may be issued tickets for violating traffic laws.
Requirements for legal and safe operation of a bicycle: Bicyclist should not carry extra passengers unless bicycle is equipped or if child carrier or trailer is used. Bicyclist should keep at least one hand on handlebars
Bicycle riders are required to use legal and proper hand signals for turns and lane changes
Bicycle hand signals are not required to be continuous
Bicycle hand signals are not required when both hands are needed to safely control the bicycle
Bicycle riders, when in designated left or right turn lanes, are not required to display proper hand signals
Proper use of proper hand signals to signal turns and stops required
Bicycle riders, except small children, are prohibited from riding on sidewalks
Motor vehicles and motorcycles prohibited from using sidewalks, shared-use paths or bike lanes
No local government/authority can require bicycles be ridden on the sidewalk
Requirements for bicycle lights, reflectors and brakes: Bicycles should be equipped with front and rear lights from sunset to sunrise and during inclement weather. Bicycles should have adequate brakes.