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Unlike learning how to drive, learning how to ride a bicycle does not include any classes, license requirement or state permitted testing. This is why it’s unclear for most cyclists the laws of riding a bicycle on the road.

The state of Kentucky and Louisville Metro have regulations of their own, and it’s important for both cyclists and motorists to understand and follow these laws to keep everyone safe on the roads:

Kentucky Regulations

Cyclists are expected to obey the same traffic laws as motorists EXCEPT for the following:

  • A bicycle may be operated on the shoulder of a highway.
  • A bicycle lane must be used when one is provided.
  • No more than two bicycles may ride side-by-side in a single highway lane.

Reflective lights:

  • Cyclists must use a front light and red rear light (steady or flashing) when riding at night or even during the day whenever it is darker than usual.
  • Cyclists must use a red rear reflector/light on clothing or the bicycle whenever riding on a highway or shoulder.

Other regulations include:

  • It is illegal to carry more passengers than the bicycle was designed to accommodate.
  • You must shout or sound a bell or horn when approaching a pedestrian or other bicycle.


Louisville Regulations

Cyclists are expected to obey the same traffic laws as motorists:

  • Cyclists must stop at all stop signs and red lights as motor vehicles.
  • Cyclists must pass on the left and make turns from the appropriate lane.
  • Cyclists must signal using their hands (see below for hand signals). The signal must be given intermittently for the last fifty feet before the turn.

Hand signaling:









Age limits:

  • No person over 11 years of age shall operate a bicycle on any sidewalk within the geographical boundary limits of Louisville Metro, and nobody of any age shall ride on the sidewalk downtown. (This does not apply to officers of Louisville Metro Police Department, employees of Louisville Metro Emergency Medical Services, Louisville Fire and Rescue, and more, as long as they are acting within the scope of their official duties.)
  • Cyclists under 18 years old must wear a helmet when riding in any Metro Park.

If you’ve been injured by someone else while riding a bicycle, Kaiman & Crahan, Attorneys at Law can help. For more information regarding Kentucky bike laws and local bike laws visit,

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