[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Passing laws: Alabama does not have any specific laws regarding passing a bicycle. Accordingly, the general traffic safety rules apply, which require that in the event a motor vehicle passes a bicycle, it shall leave a safe distance.
Helmet law: All cyclists or passengers under the age of 16 are required to wear a helmet.
Laws to Protect the Bicyclist: There are certain laws entitled “vulnerable user laws”. These laws, in essence, require the vehicle least at risk to yield to the vehicle most at risk. For example, a motor vehicle would have to yield to a bicycle and a bicycle would have to yield to a pedestrian. Alabama does not have any specific vulnerable laws.
Distracted Driving Laws: As almost every bicyclist knows, distracted driving creates one of the most dangerous risks to a bicycle on a public roadway. Every state has varying laws to attempt to reduce distracted driving. Nonetheless, it still presents a serious problem. In Alabama, it is against the law for the operator of a motor vehicle to read, write or send text messages from an electronic device, such as a smart phone.
Lane Position Laws for a Bicyclist: Alabama law requires the bicyclist to be as close to the right hand edge of the road as possible. There are no exceptions provided.
Sidewalk Riding: Bicycles are prohibited from using a sidewalk unless it is expressly permitted. However, when there is a path expressly provided for bicycles, then the cyclist must use that bike path.
Riding a Bike Under the Influence: Obviously, it is never a good idea to drive any vehicle under the influence of alcohol. In Alabama, the law is written so a bicycle is defined as a vehicle and subject to the same laws as motor vehicles regarding riding under the influence of alcohol or other drugs that may impair your ability to operate a bicycle.
Stop Sign Laws: Alabama bicycles have to follow the same rules as motor vehicles regarding the requirement to come to a complete stop when directed to stop by traffic control devices and does not authorize bicyclists to disobey traffic lights that fail to detect bicyclists.
Important Resources and Links: Laws regarding the operation of bicycles in the state of Alabama are generally found in Title 32 of the Code of Alabama (Ala. Code) are available here.
The Alabama Bicycling Coalition has laws relevant to bicycles which provides direct links to the Alabama Code and is more comprehensive. It is available here.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]