Bicycle Safety

Rules of the Road...

Every person riding a bicycle has the same rights and privileges of persons driving cars, the bicycle driver has the same responsibilities as other drivers.

"Each person riding a bicycle shall have all of the rights and be subject to the duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle under the rules of the road." (RSA 265:143)

Handlebars and Seat

Be sure your bicycle fits you. Keep handlebars and seat adjusted tightly and correctly.

"A person propelling a bicycle shall not ride other than upon or astride a permanent and regular seat attached to the bicycle." (RSA 265:144(I) )

Don't Carry Passengers

"No bicycle shall be used to carry more persons at one time that the number for which it is designed and equipped." (RSA 265:144(II) )

Don't Cling to Other Vehicles

Clinging to a moving vehicle is extremely dangerous.

"No person riding a bicycle shall hold fast to or hitch onto any vehicle moving upon a way." (RSA 265:144:(III), RSA 265:145)

Don't Carry Bulky Packages or Bundles

Carrying a large or heavy package may cause you to lose your balance or to swerve and fall.

"No person shall carry a package, bundle or article which pervents the driver from keeping at least one hand upon the handlebars." (RSA 265:144(IV) )

Ride Single File

Never block traffic by riding two abreast.

"Persons riding bicycles two or more abreast shall not impede the normal and reasonable flow of traffic, and on a laned roadway shall ride within a single lane." (RSA 265:144(V) )

Use of Hand Signals

"Bicyclists intending to turn right or left shall not be required to give a continuous hand or arm signal if the hand is needed in the control or operation of the bicycle." (RSA 265:144(VI) )

Respect the Laws in New Hampshire Communities

"Any bicyclist shall stop upon demand of a peace officer and permit his bicycle to be inspected" (RSA 265:144(VIII) )

"Any city or town shall have the power to make ordinances, bylaws or regulations respecting the use and equipment of bicycles." (RSA 265:149)

Keep Your Bicycle Safe

Do a bicycle safety check before you ride.

"No bicycle shall be operated unless the steering, brakes, tires and other required equipment are in safe condition." (RSA 265:144 (IX) )

Lights Required for Night Riding

You must see and be seen to be safe on a bicycle.

"Every bicycle operated upon any way during darkness shall be equipped with a lamp emitting a white light visible from a distance of 300 feet in front of the bicycle and a red reflector on the rear of a type approved by the Director, which shall be visible from a distance of 300 feet to the rear when directly in front of the lawful upper beams of headlamps on a motor vehicle. A lamp emitting a red light visible from 300 feet to the rear may be used in addition to the red reflector." (RSA 266:86)


Reflectors will increase your ability to be seen.

"No person shall operate a bicycle, except for a bicycle equipped with clipless pedals, unless such bicycle has pedals equipped with a reflector of a type approved by the Director which conform to 49 CFR 571.108 Table 2 and which shall be visible from the front and rear of the bicycle from a distance of 200 feet during darkness." (RSA 266:87(I) )

"No person, during darkness, shall operate a bicycle equipped with clipless pedals unless the operator is wearing either reflectorized leg bands on the lower exterior of the operator's legs or some other type of light reflective equipment on the exterior of either the operator's legs or shoes." (RSA 266:87(II) )


In order to ride safely you must be able to stop your bicycle when you want to. Maintain your brakes in good condition and check them before each ride.

"Every bicycle shall be equipped with a brake or brakes which will enable its driver to stop the bicycle within 25 feet from a speed of 10 miles per hour on dry, level, clean pavement." (RSA 266:88)

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