Ask a Trooper — Bicycle events are lawful if approved by state authorities
Ask a Trooper — QUESTION: In early spring, a group in our school is considering having a bicycle event for kids. We don’t want to wait until the last minute to find out what laws or rules might apply. Without me having to give much information about our event, can you just tell me if there are laws that might apply? We just want to start planning now and be ahead of the game. Thank you.
ANSWER: Well, it is going to depend on what type of event you are talking about, but I did find that M.S.S. 169.222 subdivision 10 talks about bicycle events. It just basically says that, “Bicycle events, parades, contests, or racing on a highway shall not be unlawful when approved by state or local authorities having jurisdiction over that highway. Approval shall be granted only under conditions which assure reasonable safety for all participants, spectators and other highway users, and which prevent unreasonable interference with traffic flow which would seriously inconvenience other highway users.”
The statute also says, “By agreement with the approving authority, participants in an approved bicycle highway event may be exempted from compliance with any traffic laws otherwise applicable thereto, provided that traffic control is adequate to assure the safety of all highway users.”
Not knowing exactly what you all have planned for your bicycle event, I hope this was helpful. I do know of several successful bicycle events that also included training information relating to bicycle safety. Remember, follow the rules of the road when you ride and obey traffic signs. Riders should also wear helmets and bright, reflective clothing – it’s also important to use lights on both front and back of the bike. Lighting is especially important as the days get shorter. Drivers should continue to be attentive and alert for riders and share the road.
Thanks for asking, and good luck with your event. Portions of statutes were used with permission of the Office of the Revisor of Statues.