Updated February 18, 2020
Nevada bicycle laws require cyclists to follow the same traffic regulations as motorists do or risk getting ticketed. Cyclists must ride with the traffic flow as far right on the road as possible. They are not required to wear helmets. They are required to use hand signals before turning. And they must keep one hand on the handlebar at all times.
Bikes are allowed on most roadways except certain highways and sidewalks. Cyclists should always check their local county and municipal laws before taking out their bike.
In this article, our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys discuss common Nevada bike laws:
- 1. Are bicyclists required to follow Nevada traffic laws?
- 2. Does Nevada law require bike helmets?
- 3. Is there a “hand on the handlebar” rule?
- 4. Must bicyclists ride on the far right side of the road?
- 5. Are bikers allowed to ride on the sidewalk?
- 6. Must cyclists ride in the same direction as vehicles?
- 7. What about shared lanes?
- 8. Are there special rules for cycling at night?
- 9. When must bikes allow vehicles to pass?
- 10. Are hand signals required?
- 11. Are there special rules for highways and restricted areas?
- 12. How common are biking accidents?
- 13. Are there special rules for mopeds in Nevada?
- 14. Is cycling under the influence a crime in Nevada?
Injured in a biking accident in Las Vegas? See our article on how to file a Nevada bike accident lawsuit in Nevada.
Bicycles are not considered “vehicles” under Nevada law because they are propelled by human power.1 However, cyclists are required to follow most of the same traffic rules as automobile drivers. And just like automobile drivers, cyclists can be cited for traffic violations.2
No. Unlike motorcyclists, cyclists are not required to wear helmets in Nevada. The recent Nevada Assembly Bill 187 that would have required helmets for children on bikes has stalled in the legislature.
Learn more about Nevada motorcycle helmet laws (NRS 486.231).
Yes. Cyclists are allowed to carry articles while biking as long as one hand stays on the handlebar. Cyclists are advised to wear backpacks or fanny packs to carry their belongings.3
Yes. Cyclists in Nevada should travel as far right on the road as possible unless:
- it would not be safe;
- the cyclist is turning left; or
- the cyclist is traveling at a legal speed limit that is also equal to the speed of nearby traffic
The safest bet is for cyclists to ride on the shoulder or designated bike lane rather than a regular travel lane. Also, no more than two cyclists should ride next to each other at a time.4
Although Nevada state law does not prohibit biking on sidewalks, many local ordinances do:
For instance, biking on sidewalks is illegal in Las Vegas on Fremont Street between Main Street and Seventh Street.5 And Las Vegas police may cite people for sidewalk-riding on the Strip (though there seems to be no Clark County ordinance prohibiting it).6
Always check local laws before taking a bike on the sidewalk. And cyclists should dismount before going over a pedestrian crosswalk.
Yes. Cyclists are prohibited from riding against traffic-flow in Nevada. It is far safer to ride with traffic than against the flow.7
Both bikes and vehicles are allowed to ride on a shared lane, often called a “sharrow.” Sharrows are indicated by a bicycle symbol beneath two chevron markings.
Yes. Bikers who ride at night must have their bike equipped with all of the following:
- a lamp on the front which emits a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front; and
- a red reflector on the rear which must be visible from 50 feet to 300 feet to the rear when directly in front of a vehicle’s lower beams; and
- reflective material visible from both sides of the bicycle for 600 feet when directly in front of a vehicle’s lower beams OR a lighted lamp visible from both sides from a distance of at least 500 feet
Note that a red rear reflector is mandatory even if the bike also has a taillight. Also note that the above requirements apply to biking in daylight with poor visibility.8
Bikers are required to move off the roadway (if safe to do so) when there are at least five (5) vehicles behind them.9
Yes. Bikers are required to use hand signals before turning unless either:
- the bike is in a designated turn lane; or
- it would be unsafe to take a hand off the handlebar10
Bicycle action in Nevada
Required hand signal
|Left turn||Hand and arm extended horizontally|
|Right turn||Hand and arm extended upward|
|Stop or decrease speed||Hand and arm extended downward|
|Reentering a traffic lane from a parked position||Hand and arm extended horizontally.11|
Some Nevada highways are open to bikers, and others are not. Highways that are off-limit to cyclists will have signs warning bikers to exit.
In rural Nevada, biking is typically allowed on highways since there are no other available roadways.
Restricted areas where cycling is prohibited
|Interstate 580/US 395 – Reno/Carson City Area|
|Interstate 15 – Las Vegas Area|
|Interstate 95 – Las Vegas Area|
|Interstate 215/515 – Las Vegas Areas|
Few types of traffic accidents have the potential for traumatic injury and loss of life as a collision between a bicyclist and a motor vehicle. And unfortunately for cyclists, the cyclist usually suffers the most serious injuries in a collision between a bike and a car.
Though bicycles account for a small portion of total traffic in the United States, collisions between cars and bikes are all too common. Many drivers are distracted or unaware of the presence of cyclists on roadways, creating hazardous riding conditions for cyclists.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 48,000 cyclists in the United States were injured in collisions with motor vehicles in 2011. Tragically, 677 cyclists were killed in accidents involving motor vehicles during the same period. In Nevada alone, there were 246 traffic fatalities in 2011. Of those 246 deaths, four were cyclists.
Cars are required to share the road with bicycles. But the reality for cyclists is that many drivers are either unaware of — or hostile to — the presence of bicycles.12
Yes. There are four special regulations for mopeds in Nevada:
- Moped drivers must register their moped with the Nevada DMV as they would a car (though they do not need liability insurance);
- Moped drivers must have a driver’s license before taking the moped on the road. It can be a regular class C license, not a special motorcycle license;
- Moped drivers must wear a helmet; and
- Moped drivers can be arrested for DUI (see the next section for more information).13
Otherwise, drivers must operate mopeds as they would bikes (such as driving on the extreme right). Learn more at the Nevada DMV Moped information page. Also see our article on Nevada motorized bicycle laws.
Technically, biking drunk or high is not a DUI offense. Driving an automobile, a motorcycle, or even a moped while impaired violates Nevada DUI laws, but biking while impaired is an entirely separate crime.
People who bike while intoxicated on alcohol or drugs face charges for the Nevada crime of reckless endangerment (NRS 202.595). This is typically prosecuted as a gross misdemeanor in Nevada, carrying a penalty of:
- up to $2,000 in fines, and/or
- up to 364 days in jail
- one to five (1 -- 5) years in Nevada State Prison, and
- possibly a fine of up to $10,000 (at the judge’s discretion)
Because CUI is not treated as a DUI, cyclists convicted of cycling while impaired will not have their driver’s licenses suspended. Learn more about Nevada cycling under the influence laws.14
Call a Nevada personal injury attorney…
Injured in a Nevada bike accident? Our Las Vegas biking injury attorneys want to help you recover the maximum settlement.
Arrested for cycling under the influence in Nevada? Contact our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys for a free consultation on how we may be able to get your charge reduced or dismissed.
Also see our article on Nevada motorcycle safety laws.
In California? See our article on California bicycle laws (Vehicle Code 21200).
- NRS 484A.025 “Bicycle” defined. “Bicycle” means a device propelled by human power upon which a person may ride, having two tandem wheels either of which is over 14 inches in diameter, or every such device generally recognized as a bicycle though equipped with two front or two rear wheels except a moped.NRS 484A.320 “Vehicle” defined. “Vehicle” means every device in, upon or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, except:
1. Devices moved by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails; and
2. Electric personal assistive mobility devices as defined in NRS 482.029.
- NRS 484B.763 Application of traffic laws to person riding bicycle or electric bicycle. Every person riding a bicycle or an electric bicycle upon a roadway has all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle except as otherwise provided in NRS 484B.767 to 484B.783, inclusive, and except as to those provisions of chapters 484A to 484E, inclusive, of NRS which by their nature can have no application.
- NRS 484B.780.
- NRS 484B.777.
- Las Vegas Municipal Code 11.40.180 -- Sidewalk riding.
(A) It shall be unlawful for any person to ride a bicycle upon the sidewalks on Fremont Street between Main Street and Seventh Street. This area shall be posted with signs indicating that the riding of bicycles on the sidewalk is prohibited.
- Art Marroquin, “Don’t ride your bike on the sidewalk, even on Las Vegas Strip“, Las Vegas Review-Journal (March 19, 2018)(“‘Some of the police officers I’ve come across say it’s illegal, but some of the bicycle cops told me that it’s completely legal,’ said Dan, who gets around on a bicycle after his truck was totaled by a red-light runner.”).
- NRS 484B.200.
- NRS 484B.783.
- NRS 484B.630.
- NRS 484B.768.
- NRS 484B.769.
- Traffic Safety Facts, 2011 Data, Bicyclists and Other Cyclists, NHTSA.
- NRS 482.069; NRS 482.206; Nevada Senate Bill 408 (2019).
- NRS 202.595