Washington D.C. Bicycle Laws
Helmets for children under age 16 are required by law. A child can go to a local police station, accompanied by an adult, to have a helmet fitted.
Each bicycle operated in the District shall be registered within fourteen (14) days of its acquisition or of its being brought into the District; Provided, that a non-resident owner who has registered his or her bicycle for the current registration period under the laws of another jurisdiction is exempt from this provision.
A person operating a bicycle shall be on the right half of the roadway and shall not operate on the left facing traffic coming from the opposite direction except when authorized by that section.
Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall travel as closely as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, or as closely as practicable to the left-hand curb or edge of the roadway when on a one-way street.
No person shall operate or ride a bicycle other than upon or astride a regular seat attached to the bicycle.
No person shall operate or ride on a bicycle with more persons on it at any one time than the bicycle is equipped to carry.
No person shall operate or ride a bicycle while carrying any package, bundle, or article which prevents the operator from keeping at least one hand on the handle bars.
Persons riding upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or part of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles. Persons riding two abreast shall not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic and, on a laned roadway, shall ride within a single lane.
No person shall operate a bicycle at a speed in excess of any posted limit or at a speed which is greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions then existing.
There shall be no prohibition against any person riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk within the District, so long as the rider does not create a hazard; Provided, that no person shall ride a bicycle upon a sidewalk within the Central Business District except on those sidewalks expressly designated by Order of the Mayor, nor shall any person ride a bicycle upon a sidewalk in any area outside of the Central Business District if it is expressly prohibited by Order of the Mayor and appropriate signs to such effect are posted.
Any person riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians, and shall travel at a speed no greater than the posted speed limit of the adjacent roadway.