Go To Search
Report an Incident Online
Bicycle Laws
Applicable Bicycle Laws for the Town of Amherst
                        



Ages
   
Bike laws pertaining to specific age groups


0-16    Must wear a helmet.

0-1      Can’t ride on a bicycle by any means.    
                                                                                 $20 fine for violation


1-4
      Or up to 40lbs can ride on bicycle that has a harness, sits upright,
does not allow feet and/or hands to reach spokes and is permanently attached to the bicycle and/or tow.      
                                                               
                                                                    $20 fine for violation


Equipment Violations
-
All violations carry a $20 fine

 
• Seats must be properly attached to bicycle for the operator and passenger.

• White light must be: 
        o Attached to front of bicycle and 
        o Be displayed from ½ hour after sunset and ½ before sunrise and 
        o Visible from 500 feet.

• Red light or Red Reflector must be: 
        o Attached to rear of bicycle and 
        o Displayed from ½ hour after sunset and ½ before sunrise and 
        o Visible from 600 feet.

• Pedal or Ankle Reflectors must be: 
        o Attached to bicycle or worn on the rider’s ankles and 
        o Displayed from ½ hour after sunset and ½ before sunrise and 
        o Visible from 600 feet.

• Braking system must enable the bike to stop with-in 30 feet while traveling 15 mph on dry, clean, hard and level surface.

• Handlebars: can’t be raised so the hands are above the shoulders.

• Front Forks: Can’t be extended from the original manufacturer’s design
.


Moving Violations-
All moving violations carry a $20 fine


• Fail to yield to pedestrian or warn when passing on sidewalk.

• Obstruction of any way and/or sidewalk in such manner to obstruct vehicular or pedestrian traffic.

• Use of siren or whistle.


• Hand Signals when turning or stopping.

• Riding 2 abreast is permitted on any roadway, but on a roadway that has more than one lane in the same direction, cyclists will stay in a single lane.  (basically, don't take up both lanes of travel in the same direction; leave one lane clear for faster moving vehicles)  If a cyclist is being passed by a faster moving vehicle, the cyclist is expected to move to the right of the lane, if it is safe to do so.  

• Fail to keep at least one hand on handlebars. 

• No towing with a bicycle or being towed, except that bicycle trailers properly attached to the bicycle which allow for firm control and braking may be used.

• Packages must be carried in devices designed for carrying.

• Accidents must be reported involving personal injury or property damage > one hundred dollars.

• Fail to yield to pedestrian in crosswalk.

• Fail to stop/yield at stop sign and/or red light.

• Fail to yield when entering roadway or turning left.

• Failure to ride on correct side of the road.

• One way violation.

• Failure to keep in the right half of the road on a two way street.

• Failure to move right when being overtaken by a motor vehicle.

• AND ALL OTHER TRAFFIC LAWS FOR MOTOR VEHICLES

• * Exceptions*: Passing on the right is allowed. 


Town Bylaws Pertaining to Bicyclists- $50 fines

• Obstruct and/or impede pedestrian traffic upon any sidewalk or public pedestrian easement.

• Obstruct and/or impede vehicular traffic upon any street in town. 


Town Bylaws Pertaining to Bicyclists-$20 fines

• No person shall coast, ride upon or operate any sleigh, sled skis skates, skateboard, roller skates, roller blades or other similar non-motorized conveyance upon public sidewalk, public pedestrian easement or street inside downtown general business district or urban renewal project area.

• No person shall coast, ride upon or operate any sleigh, sled skis skates, skateboard, roller skates, roller blades or other similar non-motorized conveyance upon public sidewalk, public pedestrian easement or street outside downtown general business district or urban renewal project area w/o using proper care.


Bicyclists Are Not Permitted To Ride On: 

• Divided State Highways with on and off Ramps and where Signs Prohibit Bicyclists.                                        
                                                       $20 fine for violation
                                  
• Mass Turnpike or Tunnels

                                                       $20 fine for violation
• Railroads
 

                                                       This violation is Arrestable

 

 

 

 
For additional information, contact our nationally certified instructor in the International Police Mountain Bicycle Association (IPMBA), Officer Bill Laramee at 413-259-3000 or via email.  Also, check out the motor vehicle laws used to promote bicyclist safety.  
For more information on these laws and other bicycle safety initiatives, see the MassBike website.  Massbike has produced an easy to read informational brochure highlighting the value of using your bicycle as your main method of transportation.  This brochure includes tips to insure your safety while cycling.