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Bicycle Safety - Updated Laws

Safety Site

Monica Palmer, Safety Administrator

Recreational Safety takes Responsibility & Control

Bicycle Laws

There are several basic laws that Nevada residents should be aware of before venturing out on your bike:

  1. All bicyclists are required to follow Nevada traffic laws. Even though Nevada does not consider them vehicle because they are powered by humans, bicycle riders are required to follow the same traffic laws as motor vehicles
  2. There is no helmet law in Nevada. Nevada requires motorcyclists to wear a helmet but not bicyclists. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration strongly encourages all bikers to wear helmets.
  3. Cyclists are required to have one hand on the handlebars at all times. You can carry your belongings on your bike as long as one hand remains on the handlebars. So, using a backpack or basket is encouraged.
  4. Cyclists are required to travel on the far-right side of the road. This is the rule unless it won’t be safe, you are turning left on your bike, or you are traveling at the same speed as traffic. 
  5. You are not required to travel in the bike lane but it is suggested that when available you should use the bike lane. Only two cyclists should ride next to each other at a time.
  6. Bikers should riddle on the road and in the bike lane and not on the sidewalk. Even though there are no state laws prohibiting riding on the sidewalk there are areas where there are city ordinances for example on the Strip you cannot ride on the sidewalk and may receive a ticket for doing so.
  7. Bicyclists are required to ride with the traffic flow and prohibited from riding against the traffic in Nevada.

These are the basic bicycle laws and rules of the road in Nevada.

By following these rules, you may prevent a bike accident that could end up with injuries or even worse.


Electric Bikes in Nevada

Electric bikes are defined as two or three-wheeled bikes with an automatic transmission and a motor that has less than 750W. Nevada only allows electric bikes to go a maximum of 20mph on level ground. Licensing and registration are not required, but helmets are.

Electric bikes can only be ridden on roads where the posted speed limit is lower than the speed of the device and just like regular bikes, electric ones have to be ridden far to the right and riders must obey all road laws and rules. There isn’t much more on the books about electric bikes in Nevada; they are mostly treated as bicycles, other than having a cap on speed.

The state of Nevada doesn’t have anything too strange when it comes to the bike laws that must be observed. The state does allow for things

  • like Idaho stop and three feet of clearance, but the state doesn’t really care whether riders wear helmets or not. It’s important to keep track of your own safety while riding to make sure that you are both legal to ride and safe at the same time. Enjoy!



If you’re moving as fast as traffic, you can ride wherever you want.

If you’re moving slower than traffic, you can “take the lane” if it’s not wide enough for a bike and a vehicle to safely share side-by-side. The law says that people who ride bikes must ride as close to the right side of the road as practicable except under the following conditions: when passing, preparing for a left turn, avoiding hazards, if the lane is too narrow to share, or if approaching a place where a right turn is authorized. (CVC 21202) Unfortunately, some motorists and even police don’t understand cyclists’ right to “take the lane.” If you have a legal problem based on this understanding, consider calling one of the bike-friendly lawyers we identify on our “Crash Help” page.

Use the bicycle lane. On a roadway with a bike lane, bicyclists traveling slower than traffic must use the bike lane except when making a left turn, passing, avoiding hazardous conditions, or approaching a place where a right turn is authorized. CVC 21208

You don’t have to use the “protected bike lane.” Once a bike lane is separated from moving traffic with posts or car parking or anything else, it’s no longer a “bike lane” according to the law; it’s a “separated bikeway.” CVC 21208 does not apply. You may ride outside of the separated bikeway for any reason. (SHC 890.4d)

Ride with traffic. Bicyclists must travel on the right side of the roadway in the direction of traffic, except when passing, making a legal left turn, riding on a one-way street, riding on a road that is too narrow, or when the right side of the road is closed due to road construction. CVC 21650

Mopeds and high-speed electric bikes are not like regular bikes. Gas-powered bicycles and type 3 electric bicycles (with top assisted speeds of 28 mph) may not be used on trails or bike paths or lanes unless allowed by local authorities. They may be used in bike lanes or separated bikeways adjacent to the roadway. CVC 21207.5  They require helmets and may not be operated by people under age 16.

Low-speed electric bicycles are almost like regular bikes. Type 1 and 2 electric bicycles (with top assisted speeds of 20 mph) are allowed wherever regular bikes are allowed unless a sign specifically prohibits electric bicycles.

Bike path obstruction: No one may stop on or park a bicycle on a bicycle path. CVC 21211

SidewalksIndividual cities and counties control whether bicyclists may ride on sidewalks.  CVC 21206

FreewaysBicycles (including motorized bicycles) may not be ridden on freeways and expressways where doing so is prohibited by the California Department of Transportation and local authorities. CVC 21960

Toll bridgesBicyclists may not cross a toll bridge unless permitted to do so by the

California Department of Transportation. CVC 23330