[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Passing laws: Alaska 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 while passing the bicycle.
Helmet law: There is no law requiring a cyclist or passenger 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. By example, a motor vehicle would have to yield to a bicycle and a bicycle would have to yield to a pedestrian. Alaska 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 road way. Every state has varying laws to attempt to reduce the amount of distracted driving that exists. Nonetheless, it still presents a serious problem.
In Alaska the operator of a motor vehicle is not allowed to read, write or send text messages from an electronic device, such as a smart phone. In addition, the operator a motor vehicle is not allowed to have a video screen showing non-authorized video in view of the operator. Hence, the operator can look at GPS directions, but not the video of their phone for other uses.
Lane Position Laws for a Bicyclist: Alaska 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 allowed to use a sidewalk unless it is expressly prohibited or in a business district.
Riding a Bike Under the Influence: Obviously, it is never a good idea to drive any vehicle under the influence of alcohol. In Alaska, the law is written so a bicycle is defined as a vehicle not 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: The laws regarding stops signs in Alaska can be interpreted to allow bicycles to either slow down or stop, as long as the bicycle proceeds in a safe manner and yields to any vehicles in and around the area or intersection. The bicycle must come to a full stop if it is deemed that is the only safe way to proceed.
Important Resources and Links:
Laws regarding the operation of bicycles in the state of Alaska are generally found in Title 13, Chapter 2, of the Alaska Administrative Code (Alaska Admin. Code), available here.
Overview of Alaska Bicycle Laws, click here.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]