Maryland - Rules of The Road 2

TITLE 21 VEHICLES LAWS – RULES OF THE ROAD

21-1203 Riding on bicycles or motor scooters.

  1. Operator to be seated. – The operator of a bicycle or a motor scooter may ride the bicycle or motor scooter only on or astride a permanent and regular seat securely attached to it.

  2. Seat required for passenger. – Bicycle. – A bicycle may not carry any passenger unless it is designed for and equipped with a seat securely attached to it for each passenger.

  3. Same – Motor scooter. – A motor scooter may not carry any passenger unless it is designed for and equipped with a seat securely attached to it and footrests for each passenger.

21-1204 Clinging to vehicles.

  1. Exceptions. – This section does not apply to any log, skid, drag, or farm sled while used in agriculture or forestry practices.

  2. Bicycles and motor scooter. – A person riding on any bicycle or motor scooter may not attach it or himself to any vehicle on a roadway;

  3. Play vehicles – A person riding on any play vehicle may not attach it or himself to any vehicle on a roadway.

  4. Coasters. – A person riding on any coaster may not attach it or himself to any vehicle on a roadway.

  5. Skateboards. – A person riding on nay skateboard may not attach it or himself to any vehicle on a roadway.

  6. Roller skates. – A person on any roller skates may not attach them or himself to any vehicle on a roadway.

  7. Sleds. – A person riding a sled may not attach it or himself to any vehicle on a roadway.

  8. Toy vehicles. – A person on a toy vehicle may not attach it or himself to any vehicle on a roadway.

21-1205 Riding on roadways or on highway.

  1. Riding to right side of roadway. – Each person operating a bicycle or a motor scooter at a speed less than the speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing on a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable and safe, except when:

    1. Making or attempting to make a left turn;

    2. Operating on a one-way street;

    3. Passing a stopped or slower moving vehicle;

    4. Avoiding pedestrians or road hazards;

    5. The right lane is a right turn lane; or

    6. Operating in a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle or motor scooter and another vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.

  2. Riding two abreast. – Each person operating a bicycle or motor scooter on a roadway may ride two abreast only if the flow of traffic is unimpeded.

  3. Passing. – Each person operating a bicycle or motor scooter on a roadway shall exercise due care when passing a vehicle.

  4. Walking bicycles on right side of highway. – Each person operating a bicycle or motor scooter on a roadway may walk the bicycle or motor scooter on the right side of a highway if there is no sidewalk.

21-1205.1 Bicycles, motor scooters, and EPAMD’s prohibited on certain roadways and highways; speed limit.

  1. In general – Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, a person may not ride a bicycle or motor scooter;

    1. On any roadway where the posted maximum speed limit is more than 50 miles per hour [Cyclists may operate on the shoulder of a roadway where the posted speed limit exceeds 50 mph unless otherwise prohibited.]; or

    2. On any expressway, except on an adjacent bicycle path or way approved by the State Highway Administration, or on any other controlled access highway signed in accordance with 21-313 of this title.

  2. Roadway with bike lane or shoulder paved to a smooth surface. –

    1. Where there is a bike lane paved to a smooth surface or a shoulder paved to a smooth surface[COMAR October 29, 1979 defines smooth surface as a surface that has a texture equal to or better than the adjacent roadway and if the surface contains undulations which are no longer than the adjacent roadway.], a person operating a bicycle or a motor scooter shall use the bike lane or shoulder and may not ride on the roadway, except in the following situations:

      1. When overtaking and passing another bicycle, motor scooter, pedestrian, or other vehicle within the bike lane or shoulder;

      2. When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into an alley, private road, or driveway;

      3. When reasonably necessary to leave the bike lane or shoulder to avoid debris or other hazardous condition; or

      4. When reasonably necessary to leave the bike lane or shoulder because the bike lane or shoulder is overlaid with a right turn lane, merge lane, or other marking that breaks the continuity of the bike lane or shoulder.

    2. A person operating a bicycle or a motor scooter may not leave a bike lane or shoulder until the movement can be made with reasonable safety and the only after giving an appropriate signal.

    3. The Department shall promulgate rules and regulations pertaining to this subsection which will include, but not limited to, a definition of “smooth surface.”

  3. Motor scooter speed limit – A motor scooter may not be operated at a speed in excess of 30 miles per hour.

  4. Restrictions on operating EPAMDs. – Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, a person may not operate an EPAMD on any roadway where there are sidewalks adjacent to the roadway or the posted maximum speed limit is more than 30 miles per hour.

  5. EPAMD speed limit – An EPAMD may not be operated at a speed in excess of 15 miles per hour.

21-1206 Carrying articles; tampering with bicycle, motor scooter or EPAMDs.

  1. Transporting articles – A person may not operate a bicycle, an EPAMD, or a motor scooter while carrying any package, bundle, or other article that prevents the person from keeping both hands on the handlebars.

  2. Interfering with view or balance of operator. – A person may not carry on a bicycle, an EPAMD, or motor scooter any package, bundle, or other article that interferes with the view or balance of the operator.

  3. Tampering with bicycle, motor scooter, or EPAMD. – A person may not remove, ride on, or tamper with any part of a bicycle, an EPAMD, or a motor scooter without permission of its owner.

21-1207 Lamps and other equipment on bicycles and motor scooters.

  1. Lamp and reflector. –

    1. If a bicycle or motor scooter is used on a highway at any time when, due to insufficient light or unfavorable atmospheric conditions, persons and vehicles on the highway are not clearly discernible at a distance of 1,000 feet, the bicycle or motor scooter shall be equipped:

      1. On the front, with a lamp that emits a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front; and

      2. On the rear, with a red reflector of a type approved by the Administration and visible from all distances from 600 feet to 100 feet to the area when directly in front of lawful upper beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle.

    2. A bicycle or bicyclists may be equipped with a lamp that emits a red light or a flashing amber light visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear in addition to the red reflector required by paragraph (1) of this subsection.

  2. Bell. – A person may not operate a bicycle or a motor scooter unless it is equipped with a bell or other device capable of giving a signal audible for a distance of at least 100 feet

  3. Sirens or whistles. – However, a bicycle or motor scooter may not be equipped with nor may any person use on a bicycle any siren or whistle.

  4. Brake. – Every bicycle and motor scooter shall be equipped with a brake that enables its operator to make the braked wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement.

21-1207.1 Helmets required.

  1. In general.

    1. The provisions of this section apply:

      1. At all times while a bicycle is being operated on any highway, bicycle way, or other property open to the public or used by the public for pedestrian or vehicular traffic; and

      2. To a person under the age of 16 who is riding a bicycle, including a person under the age of 16 who is a passenger on a bicycle; or

        1. In a restraining seat attached to the bicycle; or

        2. In a trailer being towed by the bicycle.

  2. The provisions of this section do not apply to passengers in commercial bicycle rickshaws.

  3. Inapplicable on Ocean City boardwalk – This section does not apply in the town of Ocean City, Maryland, on the boardwalk between the Ocean City inlet and 27th Street, during the hours in which bicycles are permitted by local ordinance to be operated on the boardwalk.

  4. Helmets. – A person to whom this section applies may not operate or ride as a passenger on a bicycle unless the person is wearing a helmet that meets or exceeds the standards of the American National Institute, the Snell Memorial Foundation’s standard, or the standards of the American Society of Testing and Measurements for protective headgear for use in bicycling.

  5. Enforcement. – This section shall be enforced by the issuance of a warning that informs the offender of the requirements of this section and provides educational materials about bicycle helmet use.

21-1207.2 Protective helmets.

  1. Required; standards. – An individual under the age of 16 years may not ride a scooter or in-line skates on any highway, bicycle way, sidewalk, or other property open to the public or used by the public for pedestrian or vehicular traffic, unless the individual is wearing a helmet that meets or exceeds the standards of the American National Standards Institute, the Snell Memorial Foundation, or the American Society of Testing and Measurements for protective headgear for use in bicycling or in-line skating.

  2. Enforcement. – This section shall be enforced by issuance of a warning that informs the offender of the requirements of this section and provides educational materials about helmet use.

21-1208 Securing bicycle, motor scooter or EPAMD to certain objects.

  1. Prohibition. – A person may not secure a bicycle, an EPAMD, or a motor scooter to a fire hydrant, police or fire call box, or traffic control device.

  2. Poles, etc. within bus or taxi zones. – A person may not secure a bicycle, an EPAMD, or motor scooter to a pole, meter, or device locates within a bus or taxi loading zone.

  3. Poles, etc. within 25 feet of intersection. – A person may not secure a bicycle, an EPAMD or a motor scooter a bicycle, an EPAMD, or motor scooter to a pole, meter, or device located within 25 feet of an intersection.

  4. Poles, etc. having notices forbidding securing of bicycles. – A person may not secure a bicycle, an EPAMD, or motor scooter to a pole, meter or device on which notice has been posted by the appropriate authorities forbidding the securing of bicycles.

  5. Obstructing or impeding traffic or pedestrian movement. – A person may not secure a bicycle, an EPAMD, or motor scooter to any place where the securing of a bicycle or motor scooter would obstruct or impede vehicular traffic or pedestrian movement.

  6. Securing to parking meter. – A bicycle, an EPAMD or a motor scooter may be secured to a parking meter, without payment of the usual fees, if it is entirely removed from the bed of the street normally used for vehicular parking.

21-1209 Throwing object at bicycle, motor scooter or EPAMD.

  1. Drivers to exercise due care. – Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, the driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any bicycle, an EPAMD, or motor scooter being ridden be a person.

  2. Throwing objects. – A person may not throw any object at or in the direction of any person riding a bicycle, an EPAMD, or motor scooter.

  3. Opening doors with intent to strike, injure, etc. – A person may not open the door of any motor vehicle with intent to strike, injure, or interfere with any person riding a bicycle, an EPAMD, or motor scooter.

21-1210 Wearing earplugs, headsets, etc., prohibited.

  1. Wearing headset coverings. – A person may not operate a bicycle, an EPAMD, or a motor scooter on any highway, or on any roadway, while the person is wearing any headset covering both ears.

  2. Earplugs – A person may not operate a bicycle, an EPAMD, or motor scooter on any highway, or on any roadway, while the person is wearing any earplugs in both ears.

  3. Exceptions – The provisions of this section do not apply to:

    1. Any person wearing personal protectors in the form of custom earplugs or molds that are designed to attenuate injurious noise levels, if the custom plugs or molds are designed in such a manner as to not inhibit the wearer’s ability to hear a siren or horn from an emergency vehicle or a horn from another vehicle;

    2. Any person wearing a prosthetic device used to aid the hard of hearing; or

    3. Any person operating a bicycle on a public bicycle pathway expressly authorized for the use of persons operating bicycles.

21-1211 Bicycle racing events

  1. Approval – When the State Highway Administration or local authority approves a bicycle racing event on a highway or a highway bridge under its respective jurisdiction, bicycle racing shall be lawful.

  2. Conditions for approval – The State Highway Administration or a local authority may approve a bicycle racing event only under conditions that:

    1. Provide reasonable safety for race participants, spectators, and other highway or highway bridges users; and

    2. Prevent unreasonable interference with traffic flow that would seriously inconvenience other highway or highway bridge user.

  3. Exception from provisions of vehicle law – If traffic control adequately assures the safety of participants, spectators, and other highway or highway bridges users, the State Highway Administration or a local authority may except participants in an approved bicycle racing event from compliance with other provisions of the Maryland Vehicle Law that otherwise would be applicable to the other participants in the bicycle racing event.

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