Bike Laws and Safety

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Bike Safety

Two bicyclists riding in a bike lane

Just as important as drivers showing caution around cyclists, it’s equally important for cyclists to show caution around drivers and obey the same traffic laws. Here are safety tips to help keep you safe on the road:

  • Wear a helmet
  • Ride with traffic and follow traffic laws and state and local bike laws. 
  • Use bike lanes whenever possible.
  • Wear brightly colored and/or reflective clothing even during the day. Increasing your chances of being easily seen is a good thing.
  • Use lights and reflectors. A big bright shiny light that can be seen at least 500 ft. in front, reflectors on the sides of your bike, and a bright red tail light that can be seen 30 to 500 ft. from the back of your bike.
  • Put a mirror on your bicycle and keep an eye on what’s around you.
  • Pick the loudest horn you can find, and use it!

We encourage all cyclists to review these safety tips, as well as familiarize yourself with these safety resources:

Bike Laws

Reno specific laws

  • Speed: Cyclists must follow the speed limits. 
  • Approaching Sidewalk, Bicycle Lane, Highway: When emerging from an alley, driveway, bicycle path, building or other approach to a sidewalk, cyclists must yield the right-of-way to all pedestrians. When entering a bicycle lane, cyclist must yield the right-of-way to approaching bicycles. When entering the highway, cyclists must yield the right-of-way to all vehicles or bicycles approaching. 
  • Direction of Travel. Cyclists must ride within a bicycle lane in the right direction of vehicular traffic traveling on the same side of the highway, unless the bicycle lane is designated as two-way traffic.
  • Sidewalks: It is unlawful to operate a bicycle upon any sidewalk within the central business district or any prohibited-signed roadway.
  • Pedestrian: Cyclist riding on a sidewalk must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and give an audible signal before overtaking and passing pedestrians.
  • Walking Bikes: Cyclists walking bicycles are subject to pedestrian laws.
  • Bicycling at Night: If you are riding at night, the bike must have a white front light visible at least 500 feet and a red reflector on the rear visible from 50 feet to 300 feet. The ticket for failing to obey is $70.00.
  • Brakes. Every bicycle must be equipped with a brake which enables the operator to make the braked wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement.
  • Parking: Cyclists must park against a curb, in or adjacent to a bike rack, against a building or at a curb. No person shall park a bicycle on a sidewalk in a manner that obstructs pedestrian traffic or otherwise create a hazardous situation.
  • Careless Operation of a Bicycle: It is unlawful to operate a bicycle in a careless manner or to endanger the life, limb or property of any person.

Reno’s bicycle laws, can be found in Reno Municipal Code Chapter 6.18. Bicycles.

Discourage Theft

Once you’ve arrived to your destination safely, we recommend these handy tips to keep your bike safe and secure when you’re not around:

  • When riding your own bike, make sure the post or rack you are using to lock your bike is well secured to the ground. In Reno, it’s illegal to use trees, sign or light posts. A cable lock is not enough! Cable locks are just too easy to cut. 
  • Use a high quality U-lock or a heavy chain and secure your wheels. Get rid of any U-lock with a round barrel key. These locks can be broken into easily by an experienced thief. 
  • Make sure to fill up as much space inside the "U" as possible with poles, posts, and your frame and wheel. Leaving empty space gives room for a thief to pry open your lock.