State Of Washington Bicycle Laws

State Of Washington Bicycle Laws

Although it is Gene`s BMX belief that this list is complete and
accurate, Gene`s BMX does NOT warrant or guarantee that it is
for obvious reasons. Check your local city hall or public library for
a copy of the Revised Code of Washington( RCW ) & Ordinances.
This page index will give you a reference to the relevant chapters.
Washington State + Revised Code Of Washington (RCW)

In the State Of Washington.
The safety of bicycle riders is a responsibility shared by motorists and
bicyclists. By law, bicycles are considered vehicles, just as cars are
vehicles. Bicycles do share the same rights, duties, and responsibilities
as do automobile drivers. Obey all traffic laws. Ride with the flow of traffic.
( Motorists do not expect bicyclists riding on the wrong side of the roadway! )

Bicyclists can choose to ride in a bicycle lane or on the shoulder of the
road, but they are not required to do so. Motorists and bicyclists who
don't obey traffic laws can be ticketed. All persons who use public roads
must understand state traffic laws and use safe driving and riding habits.

The Traffic laws apply to all BMX, Freestyle, Mountain, Road,
Tandem, Triwheeler, bicycles just as they apply to motor vehicles.
You should treat bicycles the same as any other vehicle on the roadway.


Revised Code of Washington State 46.04.071

"Bicycle" means every device propelled solely by human power upon
which a person or persons may ride, having two tandem wheels either
of which is sixteen or more inches in diameter, or three wheels, anyone
of which is more than twenty inches in diameter.

[1982 c 55 ss 4; 1965 ex.s. c 155 ss 86.]


Revised Code of Washington State 46.61.160
Restrictions On Use Of Limited-Access Highway Use By Bicyclists.

The department of transportation may by order, and local authorities
may by ordinance or resolution, with respect to any limited access
highway under their respective jurisdictions prohibit the use of any
such highway by funeral processions, or by parades, pedestrians,
bicycles or other nonmotorized traffic, or by any person operating
a motor-driven cycle.

Bicyclists may use the right should of limited access highways except
where prohibited. The department of tansportation may by order, and
local authorities may by ordinance or resolution, with respect to any
limited-access highway under their respective jurisdictions prohibit
the use of the shoulders of any such highway by bicycles within urban
areas or upon other sections of the highway where such use is deemed
to be unsafe.

The department of transportation or the local authority adopting any
such prohibitory regulation shall erect and maintain official traffic
control devices on the limited access roadway on which such regulations
are applicable, and when so erected no person may disobey the
restrictions stated on such devices.

[1982 c 55 ss 5; 1975 c 62 ss 25; 1965 ex.s. c 155 ss 27.]


Revised Code of Washington State 46.61.750
Effect Of Regulations - Penalty.

(1) It is a traffic infraction for any person to do any act forbidden or
fail to perform any act required in RCW 46.61.750 through 46.61.780.

(2) These regulations applicable to bicycles apply whenever a bicycle is
operated upon any highway or upon any bicycle path, subject to those
exceptions stated herein.

[1982 c 55 ss 6; 1979 ex.s. c 136 ss 92; 1965 ex.s. c 155 ss 79.]


Revised Code of Washington State 46.61.755
Traffic Laws Apply To Persons Riding Bicycles.

Every person riding a bicycle upon a roadway shall be granted
all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable
to the driver of a vehicle by this chapter, except as to special
regulations in RCW 46.61.750 through 46.61.780 and except as
to those provisions of this chapter which by their nature can have
no application.

[1965 ex.s. c 155 ss 80.]

RCW 46.61.755 | Traffic Laws Apply To Persons Riding Bicycles.
Operation of Non-motorized Vehicles Rules of the road Motor Vehicles.

[2000 c 85 3; 1965 ex.s. c 155 80.]


Revised Code of Washington State 46.61.758
Hand Signals.

All hand signals required of persons operating
bicycles shall be given in the following manner:

(1) Left turn.
Left hand and arm extended horizontally beyond the side of the bicycle;

(2) Right turn.
Left hand and arm extended upward beyond the side of the bicycle, or
right hand and arm extended horizontally to the right side of the bicycle;

(3) Stop or decrease speed.
Left hand and arm extended downward beyond the side of the bicycle.
The hand signals required by this section shall be given before initiation
of a turn.

[1982 c 55 ss 8.]


Revised Code of Washington State 46.61.760
Riding On Bicycles.

(1) A person propelling a bicycle shall not ride other than upon
or astride a permanent and regular seat attached there to.

(2) No bicycle shall be used to carry more persons at one
time than the number for which it is designed and equipped.

[1965 ex.s. c 155 ss 81.]


Revised Code of Washington State 46.61.765
Clinging To Vehicles.

No person riding upon any bicycle, coaster, roller skates, sled or toy
vehicle shall attach the same or himself to any vehicle upon a roadway.

[1965 ex.s. c 155 ss 82.]


Revised Code of Washington State 46.61.770
Riding Upon Roadways And Bicycle Paths.

(1) Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a rate
of speed less than the normal flow of traffic at the particular time
and place shall ride as near to the right side of the right through
lane as is safe except as may be appropriate while preparing to make
or while making turning movements, or while overtaking and passing
another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.

A person operating a bicycle upon a roadway or highway other than
a limited-access highway, which roadway or highway carries traffic in
one direction only and has two or more marked traffic lanes, may ride
as near to the left side of the left through lane as is safe. A person
operating a bicycle upon a roadway may use the shoulder of the road
way or any specially designated bicycle lane if such exists.

(2) Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than
two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the
exclusive use of bicycles.

[1982 c 55 ss 7; 1974 ex.s. c 141 14; 1965 ex.s. c 155 ss 83.]


Revised Code of Washington State 46.61.775
Carrying Articles.

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

[1965 ex.s. c 155 ss 84.]


Revised Code of Washington State 46.61.780
Lamps And Other Equipment On Bicycles.

(1) every bicycle when in use during the hours of darkness as
defined in RCW 46.37.020 shall be equipped with a lamp on the
front which shall emit a white light visible from a distance of at
least five hundred feet to the front and with a red reflector on
the rear of a type approved by the state patrol which shall be
visible from all distances from one hundred feet to six hundred
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 five hundred
feet to the rear may be used in addition to the red reflector.

(2) Every bicycle shall be equipped with a brake which will enable the
operator to make the braked wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement.

[1978 c 330 ss 746; 1975 c 62 ss 39; 1965 ex.s. c 155 ss 85.]


Notes By The WSDOT About RCW Laws To Be Aware Of:

Riding On The Road:
When riding on a roadway, a cyclist has all the rights and
responsibilities of a vehicle driver (RCW 46.61.755). Cyclists
who violate traffic laws may be ticketed (RCW 46.61.750).

Children Bicycling:
Parents or guardians may not knowingly permit bicycle
traffic violations by their ward (RCW 46.61.700).

Riding Side By Side:
Cyclists may ride side by side,
but not more than two abreast (RCW 46.61.770).

Shoulder vs. Bike Lane:
Cyclists may choose to ride on the path, bike lane,
shoulder or travel lane as suits their safety needs (RCW 46.61.770).

* - Biking In Washington/Laws


Revised Code of Washington State (RCW) 4.24.210
Liability Of Owners Or Others In Possession Of Land
And Water Areas For Injuries To Recreation Users.

During the 1997 session, the legislature adopted SSB 5254 which
amended the recreational user statute, RCW 4.24.210 to expand
covered activities by adding "skateboarding or other nonmotorized
wheel-based activities, bicycling, hanggliding, paragliding."

This means that the cities will not be held responsible for
injuries sustained by skateboarders or inline skaters
at skateboard parks operated by the city as long as:

(1) a fee is not charged for use of the skateboard park and
(2) conspicuous signs are posted to warn of any known dangerous,
artificial latent conditions.

This legislation was effective on July 27, 1997.

SSB 5254 [1997] Which Amended The Recreational RCW 4.24.210

WCIA Skateboard Information - Issued 1-96

ACC - Revised Code Of Washington State RCW 4.24.210


Chapter 468-400 WAC of Washington State

Washington State Department of Transportation (department)
to permit bicycle racing on state highways in accordance with
the conditions and regulations set forth in this code and the
latest edition of the Washington State Bicycle Racing Guidelines.

Chapter 468-400 WAC Bicycle Racing
WAC Sections
468-400-010 - Policy.
468-400-020 - Definitions.
468-400-030 - Bicycle race permit required.
468-400-040 - Bicycle race permit conditions.

* - Biking In Washington/Laws - 468-400 WAC Info.

Also see: Chapter 46.61 RCW - Rules Of The Road


Revised Code of Washington State Chapter 46.04
Motorized Foot Scooters in Washington State (Effective August 1, 2003)

A new section is added to chapter 46.04 of the Revised Code of
Washington which states inpart, "Motorized foot scooter" means"
a device with no more than two ten-inch or smaller diameter wheels
that has handlebars, is designed to be stood or sat upon by the
operator, and is powered by an internal combustion engine or
electric motor that is capable of propelling the device with or
without human propulsion..."

Motorized foot scooters may be operated on a multipurpose trail
or bicycle lane, unless otherwise posted by local jurisdictions.
State and federal agencies may regulate the use of motorized foot
scooters on facilities and properties under their jurisdiction and control.

Motorized foot scooters may not be operated at any time from
a half hour after sunset to a half hour before sunrise. Operating
a motorized foot scooter does not require a licensed driver.

If in doubt as to where you may operate your motorized foot scooter,
check with your local law enforcement agency.

Online Reports - CC
* Access - ( Motorized Foot Scooters )
* Washington State Department of Licensing
* Washington State - ( Motorized Foot Scooters )
* Gene`s BMX - Motorized Foot Scooters In Wash.

11/13/2003 - The City Of Wenatchee, Pertaining To Motorized Foot Scooters.
Ordinance No. 2003-31 "7.32.040 Motorized Foot Scooters In Wenatchee

(1) No person may drive a motorized foot scooter with in the City
of Wenatchee unless such person has a valid driver's license of
any class issued by the State of the person's residence.

(2) It is unlawful to operate or ride a motorized foot
scooter upon any sidewalk within the City of Wenatchee.

For more about the City of Wenatchee Ordinance see:
City of Wenatchee pertaining to motorized foot scooters.
For other city/town Ordinances, pertaining to motorized foot scooters
with in Washington State, check with your area city hall Or public library.

02/28/2007 - City of East Wenatchee Sets Motor Scooter Rules.

06/17/2004 - Gene`s BMX Applauds To The Crack Downs On Motorized Scooters.


Washington State Mandatory Helmet Laws
Currently, there is no state law requiring helmet use.
However, some cities and counties do require helmets.
See: - Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute Mandatory Helmet Laws USA.

Jurisdiction -- Ages/Conditions -- Date/Effective

Seattle, Washington "revised!, takes effect Aug. 17, 2003"
"New Seattle Bicycle-helmet regulation news via links,
05/19/2003 - Bicycle Helmets Soon Could Be Required Within Seattle
06/20/2003 - Helmetless Days May Be Over For Seattle Bicyclists
07/21/2003 - Seattle Bicyclists Soon Must Wear Helmets Or Face Fines
08/16/2003 - Bike-Helmet Law Takes Effect Sunday Aug. 17, 2003
01/20/2004 - Going Helmet-Free Might Not Be Free
05/18/2004 - Protect Your Noggin - Or Pay The Price

The City of Ellensburg Adopted A Helmet Ordinance In 2005
Ellensburg Municipal Code - Chapter 8.52 Helmet Requirements


City Of Wenatchee, Washington - Ordinance No. 3097

An Ordinance, restricting the riding of bicycles
upon the City Of Wenatchee sidewalks. No. 3097

Section I
"Central Business District"of the City Of Wenatchee is defined as:
Sidewalks between Kittitas Street on the south, Fifth Street on
the north,and between Chelan Street on the west, and Columbia
Street on the east, Including sidewalks on both sides of the street
and the sidewalks in between.

Section II
No persons shall ride a bicycle upon a sidewalk in the
"Central Business District"of the City Of Wenatchee

Section III
A person may ride a bicycle on any other sidewalk or any roadway,
unless restricted or prohibited by traffic control devices, section IV
of this ordinance,or any other state,county or municipal law.

Section IV
Whenever any person is riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk,
such person shall yield the right of way to a pedestrian.

Section V
Any person found to have violated this section shall be found
to have committed an act designated as a traffic infraction and
shall be punished by a penalty of not more than $250.

Section VI
If any section,subsection,sentence,clause,phrase or a portion of
this ordinance is for any reason declared or held to be invalid
or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, such
portion shall be deemed a separate,distinct and independent
provision and such holding shall not effet the validity of the
remaining portions hereof.

Passed by the,
City Commission of Wenatchee this 13 day of September 1994
Earl Tilly - Mayor
Pat Notter - Commissioner
Chuck Johnson - Commissioner

Wenatchee City Code Chapter 7.32 - Skates And Scooters et seq.
If you ride or operate a bicycle on a city sidewalk outside
the Central Business District, you must yield the right of
way to pedestrians.

The penalty for violating this ordinance is an infraction
with a monetary penalty and impounding of the bicycle
ridden or operated at the time of the violation.

CC - Wenatchee City Code Table Of Contents (Current through Ord. 2003-08)

For other city/town Ordinances, restricting the riding of bicycles upon sidewalks
with in Washington State, check with your area city hall or public library.


Wenatchee Washington Area Information Sources:

Greater Wenatchee Bicycle Advisory Board
Minutes & Notes and some Information Sources.
Also See -

The City of Wenatchee Council Meetings are the
Second and Fourth Thursday's at 5:15pm - ??? of each month.
At the City of Wenatchee - City Hall 129 S. Chelan in Wenatchee.

Also Council Meetings are broadcasted on the
Wenatchee Community Channel KWCC-TV on
Charter Cable channel 19. You can also listen in
via the Internet on a streaming MP3 audio, If you
have WinAmp installed on your machine.

See: for more information.


References To Information And Biking On The Roadways:

* Access
* Bicycle Alliance Of Washington
* Bicycle Helmet Safety
* City Of
* Code = eLibrary - Washington
* Revised Code Of Washington (RCW)
* Washington State
* Washington State Dept.Of
* Washington State
* Washington State Dept Of
* - Biking In Washington
* - Biking In Washington/Laws

* Idaho Department Of
* Oregon Department Of

United States Department Of Transportation ( FHWA )
* Federal Highway
* - Bicycle & Pedestrian Program
* - Bicycle And Pedestrian Design Guidance

~~~~~ Advocates ~~~~~

For them who like to ride your bikes at your public skate parks
and seem to have troubles getting the cop cars out of the park.
Advocate for public riding areas for BMX at skateboard parks:
( BMX and Skateparks )
How the two can-and should-mix. BMX riders shouldn't be excluded.

* BMX Riders - BMX Is Not A Crime.
* Critical - Cyclists Rights To The Road.
* Dumb - A Funny Site But True.


Gene`s BMX Wishes You A Happy And Safe Bike Ride!

***** Gene`s BMX *****
All Things Northwest in BMX!