Passing laws: Indiana requires that in the event a motor vehicle passes a bicycle it shall leave a safe distance.
Helmet law: There is no state law in Indiana that requires the operator of a bicycle to wear a helmet. However, although not required by law it is strongly recommended.
Vulnerable User Laws to Protect the Bicyclist: Indiana does not have any Vulnerable user laws.
Distracted Driving Laws: In Indiana there have been laws passed to attempt to reduce distracted driving by punishing violators. A driver of a motor vehicle may not use a telecommunications device to:
1. manually type a text message, send a text message or read a text message unless:
a. It is done utilizing a hands-free or voice technology or:
b. It is being done to call 911 to report a bonafide emergency.
Where to Ride – Lane Position Laws for a Bicyclist: Generally speaking, Indiana 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; or
- When preparing to take a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
Sidewalk Riding: There is no statute that either permits or prohibits riding a bicycle on a sidewalk. It is important to note that Indiana does not require bicyclists to use any lane or path other than a normal vehicular traffic lane. So if there is a sidewalk, the choice of road or sidewalk is yours to make.
Riding a Bike under the Influence: Indiana’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 apply to bicyclists. A bicyclist may still be charged with a DUI and subject to severe fines and punishment.
Stop Sign Laws: In Indiana 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