Whether you bike for fun or transportation in Baton Rouge and surrounding cities, safety should be your foremost concern. In general, bicyclists must follow the same laws as motor vehicle drivers when traveling on Louisiana roads.

Review the pertinent local and state bike laws before your next trip on two wheels.

Bike lane and sidewalk laws

If a bike lane is available, Baton Rouge requires you to ride in the bike lane instead of the adjacent roadway. When you do use the road, stay as far to the right as possible except when turning or passing. If you are cycling with friends, ride no more than two side-by-side in a single lane.

The state does not prohibit cyclists from riding on the sidewalk, but Baton Rouge prohibits doing so in business districts and anywhere with a sign posted by the local chief of police. If you do bike on the sidewalk in Baton Rouge, you must give pedestrians the right-of-way. Baton Rouge also prevents cyclists and skateboarders from riding on public park structures, statues and monuments.

Helmet requirements

All bike riders younger than 12 must legally wear a bike helmet in Louisiana. However, the state does not require helmets for teen and adult riders.

Bike equipment

Your bike must have a white headlamp that others can see from at least 500 ft. away and a rear reflector visible from at least 50 ft. away. You must also have a working brake that effectively stops the bike on dry, clean, flat pavement.

In addition to these regulations, Louisiana treats bikers with the same rights and responsibilities as drivers. State law requires bicyclists to obey all traffic signals and come to a complete stop at every stop sign and red light. If you suffer a serious injury in a bike accident, you may be able to sue a responsible driver for legal damages, including the cost of medical care and lost wages.

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