Ask a Trooper: Rules for bicyclists while out on the road

Published 8:45 pm Friday, August 26, 2022

Ask a Trooper by Troy Christianson

Question: Does a bicyclist have to obey the same traffic laws as a motorist?

Troy Christianson

Answer: Thank you for the question. Sharing the road is always an important topic. 

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Yes, Minnesota Statute 169.222 states: “Every person operating a bicycle shall have all of the rights and duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle by this chapter, except in respect to those provisions in this chapter relating expressly to bicycles and in respect to those provisions of this chapter which by their nature cannot reasonably be applied to bicycles.” This includes stop signs, stop lights, yield signs, etc. 

Does a bicyclist have to dismount and walk their bike through a crosswalk? No, a bicyclist using a crosswalk does not have to dismount to cross the intersection, but in some cases this may be the safest option.

A person lawfully operating a bicycle on a sidewalk, across a roadway or shoulder while using a crosswalk, has all of the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances. That includes not entering a crosswalk if a vehicle is approaching and it is impossible for the vehicle to stop.

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober.  Help us drive Minnesota toward zero deaths.

If you have any questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson, Minnesota State Patrol, at 2900 48th St. NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848; or reach him at Troy.Christianson@state.mn.us.

Troy Christianson is a sergeant with the Minnesota State Patrol.