Kentucky Rules of the Road for Bicycles

Traffic laws, highway signs, rules-of-the-road, and safety requirements apply to bicycles the same as other vehicles. Not all people ride bicycles, but as a driver you must be aware of their rules and regulations. This section includes:


Kentucky law states that cyclists shall:

"Be granted all the rights and be subject to all the duties" applicable to drivers of any vehicle. A bicycle is a vehicle, not a toy, and, as such, must obey the traffic rules and regulations pertaining to all highway users. Motorists should regard bicyclists as they would any other vehicle.

A signal is required for a vehicle that is not a motor vehicle and may be given by either hand signals, signal lamps, or mechanical devices. The signal shall be given intermittently for the last fifty (50) feet traveled by the vehicle before the turn.

Hand signals shall be executed in the following manner when operating a vehicle that is not a motor vehicle:

a.       The hand and arm shall be extended horizontally from the left side of the vehicle to indicate a left turn;

b.       The arm shall be extended horizontally from the left of the vehicle with the left hand and arm extended upward from the elbow, or the right arm and hand shall be extended horizontally to indicate a right turn.

c.       Either arm shall be extended horizontally with the hand and arm extended downward from the elbow to indicate a stop or decrease in speed.

Some counties have local traffic laws called ordinances. These control the operation and parking of bicycles within city limits. As a driver, it is important for you to know what they are and to obey them at all times.


·  Never use Interstate and Parkway systems for cycling.

·  Use hand signals to communicate your actions to other vehicles

·  Obey the instructions of official traffic-control signals and signs. Stop at stop signs and for stop lights just like a motor vehicle.

·  Operate a bicycle within posted speed limits or at a rate reasonable for existing conditions.

·  Ride a bicycle on the right side of the road with traffic.

·  Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and on sidewalks. Give an audible warning (bell or horn) before passing pedestrians.

·  When riding at night, operate the bike with a white light visible from the front and a red reflector or light visible from the rear.

·  Reflector tape may be used for added visibility.

·  All slower-moving vehicles, including bicycles, shall drive as closely as practical to the right-hand boundary of the highway. Extreme caution should be used when moving out into the center of the road to avoid road debris, to pass another vehicle, or to make a left turn.


·  Never park a bicycle on a sidewalk in such a way as to interfere with pedestrian traffic.

·  Ride on a bike path adjacent to the roadway, if one is provided.

·  Carry no more persons than the number for which the bicycle is designed and equipped.

·  Never ride more than two abreast so as to interfere with the normal movement of traffic.


A motorist must:

·  Share the road with bicycles.

·  Before passing a cyclist, look to see if there is loose debris on the pavement that might cause them to move into the center of the lane. Pass a cyclist only when it can be done safely, and give ample room (3 feet) between your car and the cyclist. Realize the air turbulence your vehicle can create at high speeds or in windy weather. Give the cyclist extra room if your vehicle has extended outside rearview mirrors. Return to the lane only when you are safely clear of the overtaken bicyclist.

·  Look for cyclists. Because of their narrow profile you will need to develop your eye-scanning patterns to include bicyclists.

·  When you are turning right after passing a cyclist, leave ample room so you don't cut him off when you slow for your turn.

·  When opening your car door, check behind for cyclists.

·  At night be extra alert, and don't use your high beams for they will temporarily blind the cyclist.

Remember, bicyclists are not special and privileged. They have the same rights, rules, and responsibilities as all other highway users.

Excerpted from the Kentucky Drivers Manual.