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Bicycling Rules in Virginia

Roanoke City is expanding its roadways to include more bicycle paths.  This will certainly make it safer for cyclists, but it is still important to know the laws of sharing the road.  Many of Virginia’s law about sharing the road are aimed at bicyclists and specify where they may ride.Bicycle Rules in Virginia - Altizer Law

Many of the Virginia Codes for motor vehicles also apply to bicyclists, unless stated otherwise.  The obvious one is that all bicyclists must obey all traffic signs, signals, lights, and other roadway signs.

Some other rules to consider are that a bicyclist must ride on the right side of the road with the flow of traffic.  Bicyclists may ride on sidewalks or other shared use paths, but the bicyclist needs to be mindful of all signs posted for bicyclists as the governing body of any county, city, or town may prohibit the riding of bicycles on designated sidewalks and crosswalks.  Bicyclists riding on sidewalks, shared-use paths, roadways, or crosswalks must yield right-of-way to pedestrians.

When making a left turn, a bicyclist shall extend his or her arm in a horizontal position straight from and level with the shoulder.  When making a right turn, a bicyclist shall extend his or her arm upward.  When slowing down or stopping, a bicyclist shall extend his or her arm downwards.

For a more detailed explanation of Virginia bike laws, visit

Safety needs to be the foremost concern for both the motorist and bicyclist.  If you have obeyed all the laws and have been injured while riding a bicycle, please contact us.