Idaho Cycling Laws

Safety Tips, What to do after a cycling accident

When an accident occurs in Idaho involving a motorized vehicle and a bicycle, it is unfortunately common for the investigating authorities not to take into full account the law and rights of the cyclist. At Craig Swapp & Associates we strongly believe in raising awareness of cyclist’s rights on the road. For this reason, we have provided a list of Idaho bicycle laws.



Cyclists in Idaho are expected to comply with the following laws and the entirety of the laws can be found under Title 49 of the Idaho Statues:

  • Traffic Laws: Anyone on a bicycle has all the rights and duties of a driver of any other vehicle, except as otherwise outlined (49-714-1). Every cyclist must exercise due care (49-714-2).


  • Riding on Bicycles: A person propelling a bicycle must ride upon or with a leg on each side of a permanent seat (49-715-1). Bicycles may not be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped (49-715-2) but an adult rider may carry a child so long as the child is securely attached to the rider in a backpack or sling or a child carrier attached to the bicycle (49-715-3).


  • Clinging to or Following Vehicles: A cyclist cannot grab hold of or be attached to any vehicle on a roadway (49-716-1), however the bicycle may have bicycle trailer or semitrailer attached if that trailer or semitrailer has been designed for such an attachment (49-716-2). Cyclists can’t follow a vehicle so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard to the rider (49-716-3).


  • Position on Highway: Cyclists must ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway with the following exceptions:
  1. When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
  2. When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
  3. When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions including fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards or substandard width lanes that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge (49-717-1).
  4. If the cyclist is on a one-way roadway with two or more marked traffic lanes they may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of the roadway as practicable (49-717-2).


  • Riding Two Abreast: Cyclists cannot ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of highways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles. Cyclists riding two abreast shall not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic and, on a multiple lane roadway, shall ride within a single lane (49-718-1).
  • Carrying Articles: No cyclist shall carry any package, bundle or article which prevents the operator from using at least one hand in the control and operation of the bicycle (49-719-1)


  • Stopping-Turn and Stop Signals:
  1. A cyclist approaching a stop sign shall slow down and, if required for safety, stop before entering the intersection. After slowing to a reasonable speed or stopping, the person shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another highway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time the person is moving across or within the intersection or junction of highways, except that a cyclist after slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way if required, may cautiously make a turn or proceed through the intersection without stopping (49-720-1).
  2. A cyclist approaching a steady red traffic-control signal shall stop before entering the intersection, except that a cyclist after slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way if required, may cautiously make a right-hand turn without stopping or may cautiously make a left-hand turn onto a one-way highway without stopping (49-720-2).
  3. A signal of intention to turn right or left shall be given during not less than the last one hundred (100) feet traveled by the bicycle before turning, provided that a signal by hand and arm need not be given if the hand is needed in the control or operation of the bicycle (49-720-4).


  • Bicycles on Sidewalks: A cyclist upon and along a sidewalk, or across a highway upon and along a crosswalk, shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian, and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing a pedestrian or another bicyclist (49-721-1). A cyclist shall not ride along and upon a sidewalk or across a highway upon and along a crosswalk, where the use of bicycles is prohibited by official traffic control devices (49-721-2), and cyclists have all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian when on a sidewalk or crosswalk (49-721-3).


  • Bicycle Racing: Bicycle racing on the highways is prohibited except as authorized in this section (49-722-1). Bicycle racing is legal when it has been approved by the department or local law enforcement authorities on any highway under their respective jurisdictions (49-722-2). By agreement with the approving authority, participants in an approved bicycle highway racing event may be exempt from compliance with any traffic laws otherwise applicable, provided that traffic control is adequate to assure the safety of all highway users (49-722-3).


  • Lights: Every bicycle upon a highway at any time from sunset to sunrise and at any other time when there is not sufficient light to render clearly discernible persons and vehicles on the highway at a distance of five hundred (500) feet ahead shall display lighted lamps and illuminating devices (49-903-1) and a bicycle or its rider may be equipped with lights or reflectors in addition to those required (49-724-1).