City of Bristol, TN Bicycle Ordinances

Sec. 70-261. - Traffic laws apply to persons riding bicycles.

Every person riding a bicycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by the laws of this state declaring rules of the road applicable to vehicles or by this chapter and other traffic ordinances of the city applicable to the driver of a vehicle, except as to special regulations in this chapter and except as to those provisions of laws and ordinances which by their nature can have no application.

(Code 1980, § 9-901)

State Law reference— Similar provisions, T.C.A. § 55-8-172.

Sec. 70-262. - Obedience to traffic control devices.

Any person operating a bicycle shall obey the instructions of official traffic control signals, signs and other control devices applicable to vehicles, unless otherwise directed by a police officer. Whenever authorized signs are erected indicating that no right or left turn or U-turn is permitted, no person operating a bicycle shall disobey the direction of any such sign, except where such person dismounts from the bicycle to make any such turn, in which event such person shall then obey the regulations applicable to pedestrians.

(Code 1980, § 9-902)

Sec. 70-263. - Manner of riding.


A person propelling a bicycle shall not ride other than astride a permanent and regular seat attached thereto.


No bicycle shall be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped.

(Code 1980, § 9-903)

State Law reference— Similar provisions, T.C.A. § 55-8-173(a), (b).

Sec. 70-264. - Riding on roadways and bicycle paths.


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 ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except under any of the following situations:


When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction.


When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.


When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards or substandard width lanes that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge. For purposes of this section, "substandard width lane" means a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and another vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.


Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts 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.


It shall be unlawful for anyone under nine years of age to ride a bicycle on a public street, or for any person to ride a bicycle on a public sidewalk. This provision shall not apply to any portion of a street or sidewalk which has been designated by city council as a portion of a bicycle path.

(Code 1980, § 9-904; Ord. No. 02-22, § I, 6-19-02)

State Law reference— Similar provisions, T.C.A. § 55-8-175.

Sec. 70-265. - Lamps and other equipment.


Every bicycle when in use at nighttime shall be equipped with a lamp on the front which shall emit a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front and with a red reflector on the rear of a type which shall be visible from all distances from 50 feet to 300 feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful upper beams of headlamps on a motor vehicle. A lamp emitting a red light visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear may be used in addition to the red reflector.


No person shall operate a bicycle unless it is equipped with a bell or other device capable of giving a signal audible for a distance of at least 100 feet, except that a bicycle shall not be equipped with nor shall any person use upon a bicycle any siren or whistle.


Every bicycle shall be equipped with a brake which will enable the operator to stop the bicycle within 25 feet from a speed of ten miles per hour on dry, level, clean pavement.

(Code 1980, § 9-905)

State Law reference— Similar provisions, T.C.A. § 55-8-177.