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An Overview of the City of Houston’s Bicycle Laws

Houston is a vast metropolis located in Texas, where a bicycle is almost considered to be of the same stature as an automobile. As a result, the bicyclists must abide by the same laws that apply to the automobile owners, although there are a few exceptions. The cyclists are expected to follow the traffic signals, give hand or arm signals while turning right or left and not speed up. Go slow, and be visible to the other drivers. Having eye contact with the fellow drivers on the road is also helpful at times, to establish communication. In a nutshell, it is very essential for everyone to consider the bicycle as an automobile and a cyclist as a driver. Likewise, the cyclist must also refrain from doing anything, which he or she is not permitted to do as an automobile driver. Discover how you can avoid a bicycle accident in the City of Houston by abiding by these bicycle laws that will ensure you ride safely across the streets:

Seats.

The bicycle riders should ride only on permanent or regular seats attached to the cycle, and must not carry more persons than the numbers stipulated by the manufacturers.

Bicycle riding on sidewalks is prohibited.

In Texas, riding a bicycle on sidewalks is prohibited in the business districts. Besides, the traffic engineer too has the authority to prohibit bicycles outside the business district by erecting signs. The bicyclists on a sidewalk must give a proper audible signal before they overtake a pedestrian.

Hand on the handlebars.

The rider must have at least one hand on the handlebars, during the ride. Attaching a coaster, toy vehicle or even roller skates is strictly prohibited while riding.

Helmets are mandatory for children.

Whether they are riding a bicycle or taking a seat on a child carrier attached to a bicycle, it is mandatory for every child to wear helmets. By children it is means that any individual under the age of 18 must use helmets.

Use of brakes.

A person is not permitted to operate a bicycle unless there is a fully functional brake in it.

Riding a bicycle at night.

Travelling in a bicycle at night is allowed; if the bicycle is equipped with a front lamp which emits light visible from a distance of 500 feet or a red reflector and headlamps that are visible from a distance.

Organizing a competitive race.

In order to organize a bicycle race on a public road, the legal permission of the law enforcement agencies is required and organizers should consider the safety regulations of the riders.

Selling a bicycle.

A dealer can sell a bicycle, child carrier or a side trailer, along with a written statement of the terms to the purchaser. The statement must be endorsed by the police chief, which the dealer can collect and print for distribution. In the case of minors, the dealers must not hand over the bicycle even for leasing without a helmet. He or she can impose an extra fee for the same.

Penalty.

In the case of violation of this division, there should be a fine of $50 on the first conviction, and after that $100, in the second and the consecutive convictions.

Conclusion.

These are only a few sections of the bicycle laws at Houston. In order to understand them fully, you may consider consulting a lawyer.