[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Passing laws: Arizona requires that in the event a motor vehicle passes a bicycle, it shall leave a safe distance, not less than 3 feet, when passing the bicycle.
Helmet law: There is no state law in Arizona that requires the operator of a bicycle to wear a helmet. However, although not required by law it is strongly recommended.
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. Arizona does not have any vulnerable laws that protect bicyclists.
Distracted Driving Laws: Arizona has no laws at this time that restrict the use of a cell phone or mobile device.
Lane Position Laws for a Bicyclist: Generally speaking, Arizona law requires the bicyclist to be as close to the right hand edge of the road as possible. However there are some important exceptions that I will outline below:
- When passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction;
- When preparing to take a left turn at an intersection or onto a private road or driveway; or
- When reasonably necessary to avoid unsafe conditions such as riding in a lane that is too narrow; and
- When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.
Sidewalk Riding: Arizona does not have any laws that permit or prohibit a bicycle from being on a sidewalk.
Riding a Bike Under the Influence: Obviously, it is never a good idea to drive any vehicle under the influence of alcohol. However, in Arizona bicycles are not defined as vehicles. Arizona’s law prohibiting driving while under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances is written so that it applies to vehicles and therefore does not directly apply to bicyclists. However bicycles should not be operated while under the influence and a bicyclist may potentially be charged with a DUI because bicyclists are subject to the duties applicable to vehicles as defined by Arizona statute.
Stop Sign Laws: Generally, in Arizona 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. If the traffic control is operative (for bicycles), the bicyclist, after coming to a complete stop, may proceed with caution. Arizona does provide that its state traffic laws does not prevent local authorities the jurisdiction and power within the reasonable exercise of the police power from regulating the operation of bicycles and requiring the registration and licensing of same, including the requirement of a registration fee.
Important Resources and Links
- Arizona bicycle laws
- Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Bike Safety
- Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists