Rules of the Road
What you need to know about State and local laws before you hit the road.
1. Are there areas in the City where cycling is not allowed?
Yes. Sec. 18-26.1 of the City Ordinance Code states:
When signs are erected or posted on a sidewalk, street, or other designated areas which prohibit a person from bicycling, skateboarding, roller skating or roller-blading on the sidewalk, any improvements along the right-of-way or other designated areas, or prohibit a person from bicycling, skateboarding, roller skating or roller-blading on the street or other designated area, a person shall not disobey such signs. The signs shall be authorized in the manner provided by Section 18-17 of this Code. The City Council shall designate the sidewalks, streets, and other areas by resolution. A violation of this section shall be deemed a Class I civil infraction, and the fine for such violation shall be as set forth in Section 2-118 of the Code.
2. Are there speed limits for cyclists?
Yes. Although the City of Holland does not set a specific speed limit for cyclists, Section 18-26 of the City Ordinance Code states:
No person shall operate a bicycle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions then existing. A person who violates this section is responsible for a civil infraction.
Please follow the link at the bottom of this page for an exhaustive list of laws and regulations pertaining to cyclists under the Michigan Vehicle Code (MVC). Highlighted below are a few key points to keep in mind when cycling.
1. Does a bicyclist have to obey the same traffic laws as a motorist?
Yes. Section 257.657 of the MVC states:
Each person riding a bicycle...upon a roadway has all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this chapter, except as to special regulations in this article and except as to the provisions of this chapter which by their nature do not have application." This includes speed limits, stop signs and stop lights.
2. Does a bicyclist have to signal their turns?
Yes. Section 257.648 of the MVC states:
"The operator of a... bicycle upon a highway, before stopping or turning from a direct line, shall first determine that the stopping or turning can be made in safety and shall give a signal as required in this section."
3. Does a bicyclist have to ride with the direction of traffic?
Yes. Section 257.634 (1) of the MVC states:
"Upon each roadway of sufficient width, the driver of a vehicle shall drive the vehicle upon the right half of the roadway..." Since a bicyclist has all the rights and is subject to all the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle according to Section 257.657 then they must ride in the right half of the roadway.
4. May bicyclists ride two abreast?
Although riding single-file is often safest, bicyclists are allowed to ride two-abreast on roads; MVC Section 257.660b states:
"Two or more individuals operating bicycles upon a highway or street shall not ride more than 2 abreast except upon a path or portion of the highway or street set aside for the use of bicycles."
5. Can a bicyclist impede traffic?
If the roadway the bicyclist is on has no minimum speed limit, then they are traffic according to the MVC and MCL and therefore cannot be impeding traffic simply because of their speed or the fact that they are riding a bicycle.
MVC Section 257.657 states:
"Each person riding a bicycle...upon a roadway has all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this chapter..."
6. Does a bicyclist have to use lights?
Yes. MVC Section 257.662 states:
"A bicycle...being operated on a roadway between 1⁄2 hour after sunset and 1⁄2 hour before sunrise shall be equipped with a lamp on the front which shall emit a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front and with a red reflector on the rear which shall be visible from all distances from 100 feet to 600 feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful lower beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle. A lamp emitting a red light visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear may be used in addition to the red reflector."
7. Is it legal to use a cell phone while riding a bike?
Only if the cell phone is in hands free mode. MVC Section 257.661 states:
"A person operating a bicycle...shall not carry any package, bundle, or article that prevents the driver from keeping both hands upon the handlebars of the vehicle."
8. How about texting while cycling?
All Michigan drivers are prohibited from texting while driving under MVC Sec. 257.602.b. Since bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers (MVC Section 257.657), it is therefore also illegal for a bicyclist to text while cycling on Michigan roadways.