[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Passing laws: Hawaii requires that in the event a motor vehicle passes a bicycle it shall leave a safe distance when passing.
Helmet law: In Hawaii, the operator or passenger of a bicycle under 16 years of age is required to wear a helmet. However, the failure to wear a helmet shall not be considered contributory negligence and will not be admissible in a civil action.
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. Hawaii defines a “Vulnerable User” as:
- A pedestrian;
- a construction and/or maintenance worker;
- Roadway workers actively engaged in repairing a public highway or engaged in emergency services;
- Police, Fire and other emergency responders;
- A Bicycle;
- A Moped; and
- A wheelchair.
A vulnerable user is protected by there being tougher penalties and punishments against anyone who, by being negligent, causes death or a substantial injury to them.
A person who causes a substantial injury due to their own negligence may be charged with a class C felony of negligent injury. A person who causes death may be charged with negligent homicide.
Distracted Driving Laws: Hawaii currently has not enacted any distracted driving laws.
Lane Position Laws for a Bicyclist: Generally speaking Hawaii 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 preparing to take a left turn at an intersection or 0nto a private road or driveway;
- When necessary to avoid unsafe conditions or if the lane is too narrow; or
- When on a one-way street, bicycle may ride on the left side of the road as close as possible to the left edge.
Sidewalk Riding: Unless otherwise prohibited, Hawaii allows bicycles to ride on the sidewalk so long as bicycle is going 10 mph or less. The cyclists must yield the right of way to pedestrians and sidewalk riding is not allowed in the business district or local ordinance.
Mandatory Use of Separate Lanes: Hawaii requires bicyclists to use bicycle paths when they are provided, except under the following circumstances:
- when overtaking or passing another bicycle;
- when preparing to make a left hand turn at an intersection or private driveway; and
- When necessary to avoid debris or other hazardous conditions.
Riding a Bike under the Influence: In Hawaii , it is unlawful for a cyclist to operate a bicycle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or combination thereof. Any violations are likely to result in severe punishments.
Stop Sign Laws: In Hawaii 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 Hawaii does not authorize bicyclists to disobey traffic lights that fail to detect bicyclists.
Important Resources and Links