Maine bicycle laws

Bicycle riding is popular in Maine. Whether you ride to enjoy the spectacular scenery, commute to work or school, or run errands, you’ll want to know Maine bicycle laws and biking best practices, so you can ride safely and enjoy many more bicycle excursions.

Maine Bicycle Laws: Rules of the Road

Every state has its own set of bicycle laws. Getting more familiar with the Maine bicycle laws will help you understand and avoid any potential legal consequences.

In general, bicycle riders in Maine must obey the same traffic laws as drivers of cars and other motor vehicles. You must:

  • Stop at stop signs and red lights
  • Yield to pedestrians at crosswalks
  • Yield to traffic entering a road from a driveway
  • Ride in the direction of traffic, not against it

You are expected to ride on the right as a general rule, but there are exceptions, including when you’re getting ready to turn left, passing vehicles, or needing to avoid obstacles. You have a right to ride on most roads in the state (unless prohibited by local rules) and are not required to use bike lanes even when they run parallel to the road.

You must have functional brakes. You must use headlights at night and have rear, foot, ankle, and pedal reflectors. Unless local or municipal rules prohibit you, you may ride on the sidewalk.

Penalties for Violating Maine’s Bicycle Law 

Breaking Maine’s bicycle rules is a traffic infraction if you are 17 or older. You will be subject to a fine between $25 and $250.

Maine Bicycle Helmet Laws

Although it’s always a good idea to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle, adult bicycle riders are not legally required to do so in Maine. However, children under 16 must wear helmets when riding on public roads or bike paths. The penalty for a second violation is a traffic infraction fine of up to $25. 

Best Practices for Bicycle Riding in Maine

There are several best practices for bicycle riders that, while not legally required under Maine law, can go a long way toward ensuring that your ride is safe. These include:

  • Wearing a helmet, even if you are over the legally required age
  • Using bike lanes when they are available
  • Wearing bright colors so that you are more readily visible to people in cars and trucks
  • Using hand signals when turning or changing lanes
  • Not riding your bike when under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Not texting while riding

Getting Legal Help If You’re in a Bicycle Accident

By following the rules of the road and using best bicycle riding practices, you are taking positive action and helping to ensure you stay safe. However, no matter how conscientious you are, there’s always a chance that you could get into a motor vehicle accident. You can’t control the behavior of the motor vehicle drivers around you; unfortunately, some will be negligent. Should you ever get injured in a collision while riding your bicycle in Maine, the personal injury lawyers at Garmey Law are available to help. Contact us for a free consultation to determine if you can seek compensation for your injuries.