Highly qualified Super Lawyer & Experienced Cyclist Kenneth Knabe – Protecting Cyclists in Greater Cleveland through injury representation, sponsorships, education and Vision Zero safety legislation. 14222 Madison Avenue, Lakewood, Ohio 44107. Phone: 216 228 7200; ken@KLFOhio.com; www.KLFOhio.com.
As a fellow cyclist it is important to know the “rules of the road.” Cleveland, Ohio’s city ordinances pertaining to bicycles are set forth below. Knowledge of your local bike laws empowers you to ride safer!
CHAPTER 473 – BICYCLES AND MOTORCYCLES
473.01 Code Application to Bicycles
473.02 Riding upon Seats; Handle Bars; Helmets and Glasses
473.03 Attaching Bicycle or Sled to Vehicle
473.04 Riding Bicycles and Motorcycles Abreast
473.05 Signal Device on Bicycle
473.06 Lights and Reflector on Bicycle; Brakes
437.02 Lighted lights; measurement of distance and heights
473.07 Riding Bicycle on Right Side of Roadway; Obedience to Traffic Rules; Passing
473.08 Reckless Operation; Control, Course and Speed
473.09 Riding on Sidewalks
473.11 Licensing Bicycles; Fee and Transfer – Repealed
473.12 Licensing Agents – Repealed
473.13 Bicycle Rental Agencies
473.14 Motorized Bicycle Operation, Equipment and License
- 473.01 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.
The provisions of this Traffic Code shall apply to bicycles except those which by their nature are not applicable.
(Ord. No. 1684-76. Passed 6-29-76, eff. 7-6-76)
- 473.02 Riding upon Seats; Handle Bars; Helmets and Glasses
(a) For purposes of this section “snowmobile” has the same meaning as given that term in RC 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 (1) 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 (1) hand upon the handle bars.
(e) No bicycle or motorcycle shall be used to carry more persons at one (1) 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 (15) 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 (18) years, or who holds a motorcycle operator’s endorsement or license bearing a “novice” designation that is currently in effect as provided in RC 4507.13, shall operate a motorcycle on a highway, or be a passenger on a motorcycle, unless wearing a protective helmet on his or her head, and no other person shall be a passenger on a motorcycle operated by such 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.
(RC 4511.53; Ord. No. 91-96. Passed 3-18-96, eff. 3-26-96)
- 473.03 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 or herself 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 or herself to any vehicle while it is moving upon a roadway. This section does not apply to the towing of a disabled vehicle.
(RC 4511.54; Ord. No. 1684-76. Passed 6-29-76, eff. 7-6-76)
- 473.04 Riding Bicycles and Motorcycles Abreast
Persons riding bicycles or motorcycles upon a roadway shall ride not more than two (2) abreast in a single lane, except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles or motorcycles.
(RC 4511.55(B); Ord. No. 1684-76. Passed 6-29-76, eff. 7-6-76)
- 473.05 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 one hundred (100) feet, except that a bicycle shall not be equipped with nor shall any person use upon a bicycle any siren or whistle.
(RC 4511.56(B); Ord. No. 1684-76. Passed 6-29-76, eff. 7-6-76)
- 473.06 Lights and Reflector on Bicycle; Brakes
(a) Every bicycle when in use at the times specified in Section 437.02 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 five hundred (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 one hundred (100) feet to six hundred (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 five hundred (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 six hundred (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.
(RC 4511.56(A), (C); Ord. No. 91-96. Passed 3-18-96, eff. 3-26-96)
- 437.02 Lighted Vehicle Lights Required at Specified Times; Measurement of Distances and Heights
(a) Every vehicle, other than a motorized bicycle, operated upon a street or highway within this state shall display lighted lights and illuminating devices as required by RC 4513.04 to 4513.37 during all of the following times:
(1) The time from sunset to sunrise;
(2) At any other time when, due to insufficient natural light or unfavorable atmospheric conditions, persons, vehicles, and substantial objects on the highway are not discernible at a distance of one thousand (1,000) feet ahead;
(3) At any time when the windshield wipers of the vehicle are in use because of precipitation on the windshield.
Every motorized bicycle shall display at such times lighted lights meeting the rules adopted by the director of public safety under RC 4511.521. No motor vehicle, during any time specified in this section, shall be operated upon a street or highway within this state using only parking lights as illumination.
Whenever in such sections a requirement is declared as to the distance from which certain lamps and devices shall render objects visible, or within which such lamps or devices shall be visible, such distance shall be measured upon a straight level unlighted highway under normal atmospheric conditions unless a different condition is expressly stated.
Whenever in such sections a requirement is declared as to the mounted height of lights or devices, it shall mean from the center of such light or device to the level ground upon which the vehicle stands.
(b) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, no law enforcement officer shall cause the operator of a vehicle being operated upon a street or highway within this state to stop the vehicle solely because the officer observes that a violation of division (a)(3) of this section has been or is being committed or for the sole purpose of issuing a ticket, citation, or summons for a violation of that division, or causing the arrest of or commencing a prosecution of a person for a violation of that division.
(c) Whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.
(RC 4513.03 ; Ord. No. 1410-09. Passed 2-8-10, eff. 2-12-10)
- 473.07 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 end exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one (1) proceeding in the same direction.
(RC 4511.55(A); Ord. No. 1684-76. Passed 6-29-76, eff. 7-6-76)
- 473.08 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 473.02(d);
(e) At a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions then existing;
(f) Without complying with the instructions of any traffic control device applicable to vehicles unless otherwise directed by a police officer;
(g) Without giving the hand and arm signals as provided in Section 431.15 when turning or altering course.
(Ord. No. 1684-76. Passed 6-29-76, eff. 7-6-76)
- 473.09 Riding on Sidewalks
(a) No person shall ride a bicycle, skateboard or roller skates upon a sidewalk within a business district.
(b) No person shall ride a bicycle, skateboard or roller-skates upon a sidewalk within the City or paved area within a public park owned by the City when the Chief of Police or Traffic Control Commissioner has prohibited the riding of a bicycle, skateboard or roller- skates thereon and, with the consent of the member or members of Council in whose ward(s) the sidewalk or paved area within a public park is located has erected signs on or along such sidewalks or paved areas setting forth such prohibition.
(c) Whenever a person is riding a bicycle, skateboard or roller skates upon a sidewalk within the City or paved area within a public park owned by the City, such person shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and give an audible signal before attempting to overtake and pass such pedestrian.
(d) Whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.
(e) This section shall not apply to Cleveland Police Department, Cleveland Emergency Medical Services, and Cleveland Fire Department personnel, nor to any private safety/security personnel, when personnel are acting within the scope of their official duties while riding a bicycle.
(Ord. No. 1473-06. Passed 6-11-07, eff. 6-15-07)
- 473.10 Reserved
- 473.11 Licensing Bicycles; Fee and Transfer – Repealed
(Ord. No. 672-12. Passed 6-4-12, eff. 6-8-12)
- 473.12 Licensing Agents – Repealed
(Ord. No. 672-12. Passed 6-4-12, eff. 6-8-12)
- 473.13 Bicycle Rental Agencies
No rental agency shall rent or offer any bicycle for rent unless the bicycle is licensed and a license plate is attached thereto as provided herein, and such bicycle is equipped with the lights and other equipment required in this chapter.
(Ord. No. 1684-76. Passed 6-29-76, eff. 7-6-76)
- 473.14 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 is fourteen (14) or fifteen (15) years of age and holds a valid probationary motorized bicycle license issued after the person has passed the test provided for in this section, or the person is sixteen (16) years of age or older and holds either a valid commercial driver’s license issued under RC Chapter 4506 or a driver’s license issued under RC Chapter 4507 or a valid motorized bicycle license issued after the person has passed the test provided for in this section, except that if a person is sixteen (16) years of age, has a valid probationary motorized bicycle license and desires a motorized bicycle license, the person is not required to comply with the testing requirements provided for in this section;
(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 or she is under eighteen (18) years of age, is wearing a protective helmet on his or her 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 (3) 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 RC 4503.191. Division (a)(5) of this section is not effective until the end of the first month of the registration period in 1985 to which the motorized bicycle is assigned by the Ohio Registrar of Motor Vehicles as provided in RC 4503.101.
(b) No person operating a motorized bicycle shall carry another person upon the motorized bicycle.
(RC 4511.521; Ord. No. 835-03. Passed 6-10-03, eff. 6-12-03)
Cleveland Police contact information:
3895 West 130th Street
3481 Fulton Road
4501 Chester Ave.
9333 Kinsman Road
881 East 152nd Street