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  • Writer's pictureLacey.San.Nicolas

Biker Babe


It's me, Lacey! I'm here to drop some knowledge on ya. I know learning about bicycle laws can be boring, but I have pictures to keep you on track ;). PLEASE READ!! It can be really scary out there!

A bicycle is a vehicle and bicyclists have the right to the road


A bicycle is a device upon which any person or persons may ride, propelled solely by human

power through a belt, chain, or gears, and having two or more wheels, excluding mopeds.


A vehicle is any device in, upon or by which any person or property is or may be transported or

drawn upon a highway, excepting devices used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.


Every person riding a bicycle ... upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be

subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle ... except to those provisions of

this title which by their nature can have no application.

Examples of laws “which by their nature” can't apply:

1. Pedaling the posted speed limit is not possible for most bicyclists. After all it is a speed limit,

not a speed requirement. However minimum posted speeds may also be too high for

bicyclists and therefore ”by their nature” cannot apply. Most bicycles are not built for speed,

and neither are their riders.

2. Signaling continuously through a turn - a bicyclist requires both hands on the handlebars to

maintain control.

Bicyclists must ride on the right, but not always the far right.


A. Every person operating a bicycle . . . upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of

traffic ... shall ride as close as is safe to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except

under any of the following situations:

1. When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction;

2. When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway;

3. When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions and while exercising due care, including but

not limited to:

 a. fixed or moving objects,

 b. parked or moving vehicles,

 c. pedestrians or animals,

 d. surface hazards, or

 e. any time it is unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway; and

4. When riding in the right-turn-only lane.

Examples of when a bicyclist is not safe being far to the right:

1. The lane is too narrow for a bicyclist and motor vehicle to share side by side (see below

regarding the 3 foot safe passing law.)

2. Anytime it is unsafe to pass. See 47-11-303, 47-11-305, 47-11-306, all of which deal with

safe passing (overtaking) of another vehicle.

Essential Oklahoma Bicycle Laws - _1

3. There is bad pavement, debris, or a parked car at the edge of the roadway.

4. The bicyclist is making a left turn.

5. The bicyclist is going as fast as, or passing other vehicles.

6. Compare §47-11-1205 with §47-11-301 below. Bicyclists receive more leeway than motorists

when it comes to a choice between safety or absolute positioning in the lane.

7. Chapter 11 of the Oklahoma Drivers Manual states conditions when a bicyclist may use

the full lane for safety.

Bicycles don’t impede traffic, they are traffic. A bicyclist is not required to get out of the way of motorists.

§47-1-177 Definition of Traffic

Pedestrians, ridden or herded animals, vehicles, and other conveyances either singly or

together, while using any highway for purposes of travel.


No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and

reasonable movement of traffic except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or

in compliance with law.

Example: A bicycle is NOT a motor vehicle. The statute specifically says operating a motor

vehicle at a low speed is impeding. A bicyclist at the same speed is probably giving it all he's

worth. His speed would be necessary for safe operation.


B. Upon all roadways any vehicle proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time

and place and under the conditions then existing shall be driven in the right-hand lane when

available for traffic, or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway and

may be temporarily driven upon the right-hand shoulder for the purpose of permitting other vehicles

to pass.


As stated in §47-11-1202, bicyclists have the same rights and duties as motorists. Motor

vehicles traveling slower than the normal speed of traffic (note, this is NOT the same as the

speed limit) are directed to use the shoulder to allow following vehicles to pass. Most roads in

Oklahoma don’t have shoulders, and §47-11-1202 does not require bicyclists to “go the speed

limit.” Also, §47-11-1205 (A) only requires as far right “as is safe.”  


D. Persons riding bicycles ... upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast ... Persons

riding two abreast shall not impede the normal and reasonable flow of traffic and, on a laned

roadway, shall ride within a single lane.


On a two lane road with following traffic present, it may be required to ride single file. While

single file seems courteous, both safe positioning in the lane and the 3 foot minimum safe

passing requirement still apply. Even when single file there may not be enough room to safely

Essential Oklahoma Bicycle Laws - _2

pass a bicyclist within the same lane. On a multilane road there is sufficient room to pass safely

in the next lane and bicyclists would not be required to single up. The passing motorist would

move into the next lane to obey the 3 foot minimum safe passing law and other passing

requirements as noted below.

Motorists may only pass when it is safe, and bicyclists must be given at least three feet of clearance.


A. When overtaking and passing a bicycle proceeding in the same direction, a person driving a

motor vehicle shall exercise due care by leaving a safe distance between the motor vehicle and

the bicycle of not less than three (3) feet until the motor vehicle is safely past the overtaken



See pages 11-2 and 11-3 of the Oklahoma Drivers Manual for guidance about safe passing of

bicyclists. See also §47-11-303, §47-11-305, and §47-11-306. It is illegal to pass against

oncoming traffic, on a hill or curve, on a bridge, and within 25 feet of an intersection. Often a

motorist will complain "I'm forced to pass" against oncoming traffic. Nothing requires a motorist

to pass a bicycle. In fact it is illegal to pass when it is not safe. A gray area is crossing a solid

center line when it is clear and safe to pass.

5. It is a felony to throw an item at a bicyclist.


A. No person shall willfully throw or drop any substance at a moving vehicle or any occupant


C. Any violation of ... this section shall be deemed a felony...


As stated in §47-11-1202, bicyclists are granted the same rights as drivers of vehicles. At the

same time bicyclists are occupants of their vehicle and should not be the target of thrown


Stop yelling at me to get on the sidewalk.

The law in most areas of the country require bicycles to follow the same rules of the road as other motor vehicles. In essence, riding your bike down the sidewalk is the same as if you hopped the curb and started rolling it in your car.

Please don't tell me to get a car.

I like riding a bike and being healthy!

I don't want to be in your way.

Just remember, I'm pedaling my little heart out in 80-100 degree weather with a tiny seat going up my ass... You're gently applying pressure to a pedal in A.C. while sitting in a nice comfy seat enclosed in 3 tons of steel. Cut me some slack on the road if I'm "In YOUR way." :)

See more Oklahoma Bike info here!

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