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Virginia bike laws

VCU students and bike racks

The laws regulating bicycling on Virginia’s public roadways define the rights and responsibilities for both cyclists and motorists. These laws are put into place to ensure the safety of everyone sharing the roadways.

A complete listing of the Virginia laws regulating bicycle use and operation can be found on the Virginia Department of Transportation’s website. A list of these laws is also available on the Virginia State Police website [PDF].

In addition, VDOT offers these tips for safe bicycling:

  • Be a responsible bicyclist — obey all traffic control devices and use proper hand signals.
  • Always ride with the flow of traffic.
  • Dress safely — wear a helmet, wear bright colored clothing and secure loose pant legs.
  • Ride defensively — anticipate the actions of other road users and watch for road hazards.
  • Pass vehicles with extreme care — turning vehicles may not see you.
  • Be aware of motor vehicle blind spots whether while riding or when stopped at an intersection.
  • Maximize your visibility at night — wear reflective clothing and apply reflective tape to your bicycle.
  • Walk your bicycle when you get into traffic situations beyond your cycling abilities.
  • Exercise great caution when riding in bus traffic — watch out for buses pulling to and from curbs and passengers getting on and off buses.
  • Park your bicycle so you do not block sidewalks, handicap and building accesses, or emergency drives.
  • Lock your bicycle — secure both wheels and the frame to a stationary object using a sturdy lock.
  • Register or license your bicycle if required or provided by your community.