Bicycle Rights on the Road

Is my bicycle recognized as a “vehicle” to the State of Ohio, like a car or truck?

Yes, absolutely! Bicycles are vehicles according to Ohio State law (4511.01a). This means that bicyclists have the legal right to ride on the road, and must adhere to street signs and lights.

I have a young child who rides a bicycle and/or tricycle. Are they considered to be a vehicle?

If the size of the wheels is 14 inches in diameter or less, then no, children’s bikes are not considered vehicles (4511.01G).

Can I ride my bicycle on the freeway?

Not legally, unless there is a shoulder that is marked specifically for bicycle use. (4511.051a2).

Can authorities prohibit me from riding my bicycle on the road?

No. Authorities cannot prohibit bicyclists from riding on public streets (4511.07a8). Don’t let motorists tell you otherwise. This does not apply, however, to bicycling on freeways (see above).

Can authorities require that I ride my bicycle on the sidewalk?

No. Bicyclists cannot be required to ride on the sidewalk instead of the road (4511.711A).

What would happen if I break the law on my bicycle?

Police may issue tickets to bicyclists who violate the law, just as they might to motorists. But penalties will not include point reductions from driver’s licenses (373.01b). Depending on the circumstance, you may be required to attend a bicycling skills course (373.01c).

Other Bicycle Law Sections: