CHAPTER 373

Bicycles and Motorcycles

373.01 Code application to bicycles.
373.02 Riding upon seats; handle bars; helmets and glasses.
373.03 Attaching bicycle or sled to vehicle.
373.04 Riding bicycles and motor cycles abreast.
373.05 Signal device on bicycle.
373.06 Lights and reflector on bicycle; brakes.
373.07 Riding bicycle on right side of roadway; obedience
            to traffic rules; passing.
373.08 Reckless operation; control, course and speed.
373.09 Parking of bicycle.
373.10 Motorized bicycle operation, equipment and license.
373.99 Penalty.

CROSS REFERENCES

See sectional histories for similar State law
Motorcycle protective equipment - see OAC Ch. 4501-17
Motorized bicycle equipment - see OAC Ch. 4501-23
Bicycle defined - see TRAF. 301.04
Motorcycle defined - see TRAF. 301.19
Bicycles prohibited on freeways - see TRAF. 303.06
Hand and arm signals - see TRAF. 331.15
Motorcycle operator's license required - see TRAF. 335.01(a)
Motorcycle headlight - see TRAF. 337.03
Motorcycle brakes - see TRAF. 337.18(b)


373.01 CODE APPLICATION TO BICYCLES.
The provisions of this Traffic Code which are applicable to bicycles apply whenever a bicycle is operated upon any street or upon any path set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles. (ORC 4511.52)
The provisions of this Traffic Code shall apply to bicycles except those which by their nature are not applicable.


373.02 RIDING UPON SEATS; HANDLE BARS; HELMETS AND GLASSES.

(a) For purposes of this section "snowmobile" has the same meaning as given that term in Ohio R.C 4519.01.

(b) A person operating a bicycle or motorcycle shall not ride other than upon the permanent and regular seat attached thereto, nor carry any other person upon such bicycle or motorcycle other than upon a firmly attached and regular seat thereon, nor shall any person ride upon a bicycle or motorcycle other than upon such a firmly attached and regular seat.

(c) A person shall ride upon a motorcycle only while sitting astride the seat, facing forward, with one leg on each side of the motorcycle.

(d) No person operating a bicycle shall carry any package, bundle or article that prevents the driver from keeping at least one hand upon the handle bars.

(e) No bicycle or motorcycle shall be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped, nor shall any motorcycle be operated on a highway when the handle bars or grips are more than fifteen inches higher than the seat or saddle for the operator.

(f) No person shall operate or be a passenger on a snowmobile or motorcycle without using safety glasses or other protective eye device. No person who is under the age of eighteen years, or who holds a motorcycle operator's endorsement or license bearing "novice" designation that is currently in effect as provided in Ohio R.C. 4507.13, shall operate a motorcycle on a highway, or be a passenger on a motorcycle, unless wearing a protective helmet on his head, and no other person shall be a passenger on a motorcycle operated by such a person unless similarly wearing a protective helmet. The helmet, safety glasses or other protective eye device shall conform with regulations prescribed and promulgated by the Ohio Director of Public Safety. The provisions of this subsection or a violation thereof shall not be used in the trial of any civil action. (ORC 4511.53)


373.03 ATTACHING BICYCLE OR SLED TO VEHICLE.
No person riding upon any motorcycle, bicycle, coaster, roller skates, sled or toy vehicle shall attach the same or himself to any vehicle upon a roadway.
No operator shall knowingly permit any person riding upon any motorcycle, bicycle, coaster, roller skates, sled or toy vehicle to attach the same or himself to any vehicle while it is moving upon a roadway. This section does not apply to the towing of a disabled vehicle. (ORC 4511.54)


373.04 RIDING BICYCLES AND MOTORCYCLES ABREAST.
Persons riding bicycles or motorcycles upon a roadway shall ride not more than two abreast in a single lane, except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles or motorcycles. (ORC 4511.55(B))


373.05 SIGNAL DEVICE ON BICYCLE.
No person shall operate a bicycle unless it is equipped with a bell or other device capable of giving a signal audible for a distance of at least 100 feet, except that a bicycle shall not be equipped with nor shall any person use upon a bicycle any siren or whistle. (ORC 4511.56(B))


373.06 LIGHTS AND REFLECTOR ON BICYCLE; BRAKES.

(a) Every bicycle when in use at the times specified in Section 337.02 shall be equipped with the following:

(1) A lamp on the front that shall emit a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front;

(2) A red reflector on the rear of a type approved by the Ohio Director of Public Safety that 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;

(3) A lamp emitting a red light visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear shall be used in addition to the red reflector;

(4) An essentially colorless reflector on the front of a type approved by the Director;

(5) Either with tires with retroreflective sidewalls or with an essentially colorless or amber reflector mounted on the spokes of the front wheel and an essentially colorless or red reflector mounted on the spokes of the rear wheel. Each reflector shall be visible on each side of the wheel from a distance of 600 feet when directly in front of lawful lower beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle. Retroreflective tires or reflectors shall be of a type approved by the Director.

(b) Every bicycle shall be equipped with an adequate brake when used on a street or highway. (ORC 4511.56(A), (C))


373.07 RIDING BICYCLE ON RIGHT SIDE OF ROADWAY; OBEDIENCE TO TRAFFIC RULES; PASSING.
Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable obeying all traffic rules applicable to vehicles and exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction. (ORC 4511.55(A))


373.08 RECKLESS OPERATION; CONTROL, COURSE AND SPEED.
No person shall operate a bicycle:

(a) Without due regard for the safety and rights of pedestrians and drivers and occupants of all other vehicles, and so as to endanger the life, limb or property of any person while in the lawful use of the streets or sidewalks or any other public or private property;

(b) Without exercising reasonable and ordinary control over such bicycle;

(c) In a weaving or zigzag course unless such irregular course is necessary for safe operation in compliance with law;

(d) Without both hands upon the handle grips except when necessary to give the required hand and arm signals, or as provided in Section 373.02(d);

(e) At a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions then existing.


373.09 PARKING OF BICYCLE.
No person shall park a bicycle upon a sidewalk in such a manner so as to unduly interfere with pedestrian traffic or upon a roadway so as to unduly interfere with vehicular traffic.


373.10 MOTORIZED BICYCLE OPERATION, EQUIPMENT AND LICENSE.

(a) No person shall operate a motorized bicycle upon any street or highway or any public or private property used by the public for purposes of vehicular travel or parking, unless all of the following conditions are met:

(1) The person possesses a valid license or permit authorizing such operation and which is issued by the Ohio Registrar of Motor Vehicles under Ohio R.C. Chapter 4506 or 4507 or Ohio R.C. 4511.521;

(2) The motorized bicycle is equipped in accordance with rules adopted by the Ohio Director of Public Safety and is in proper working order;

(3) The person, if he is under eighteen years of age, is wearing a protective helmet on his head with the chin strap properly fastened, and the motorized bicycle is equipped with a rear-view mirror;

(4) The person operates the motorized bicycle when practicable within three feet of the right edge of the roadway obeying all traffic rules applicable to vehicles; and

(5) The motorized bicycle displays on the rear of such bicycle the current license plate or validation sticker furnished by the Ohio Director of Public Safety under Ohio R.C. 4503.191.

(b) No person operating a motorized bicycle shall carry another person upon the motorized bicycle.

(c) Each probationary motorized bicycle license or motorized bicycle license shall be laminated with a transparent plastic material. (ORC 4511.521)


373.99 PENALTY.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: See Section 303.99 for misdemeanor classifications and penalties.)


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