[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Passing laws: Arkansas 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 Arkansas that requires the operator of a bicycle to wear a helmet. However, though 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. Arkansas does not have any vulnerable laws that protect bicyclists.
Distracted Driving Laws: Arkansas does not allow the operator of a motor vehicle to operate a device for wireless interactive communication while driving, except in emergency situations. There is an exception for the use of a hands-free wireless telephone. In addition, there are certain age-based restrictions. If you are at least 18, but under 21, you can not use a hands-free telephone as well, subject to an emergency.
Lane Position Laws for a Bicyclist: Arkansas has no laws specifically regulating where on the roadway a bicyclist may ride. General traffic rules apply, and the cyclist should be on the right half of the road. However, there are some important exceptions that I will outline below:
- When passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction;
- If the right half of the roadway is closed for traffic or construction;
- On a roadway divided into three marked lanes for traffic under the rules that are applicable there; and
- When the roadway is designated as a one-way.
Sidewalk Riding: Arkansas 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 Arkansas bicycles are not defined as vehicles. Arkansas 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 Arkansas statute.
Stop Sign Laws: Arkansas bicyclists 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.
Important Links and Resources
- Compilation of laws by Bicycle Advocacy of Central Arkansas
- Compilation of laws by North Little Rock Parks & Recreation: