GLC: Roadway Position

Deconstructing a Very Confusing Law

This lesson from our Safety Basics Course deconstructs one of the most misunderstood traffic statutes: Bicyclist Position on the Roadway.

This lesson uses language from the Uniform Vehicle Code (UVC). There will be some variation in this language among the states where this statute is used, but the principles discussed apply everywhere. You can find information on your own state statutes in the Resources section below the video.


Bicycle Laws by State:

Visual Comparison of Laws Affecting Bicyclists — A series of maps showing various bicycle laws by state.

Find Your State Statutes — State laws and links.

History of Bicycle-Specific Lane Position Laws:

The Marginalization of Bicyclists — The history of how bicyclists lost the full rights of other vehicle drivers, and what we can do about it now.

The Evolution of Stay-Right Laws — This paper provides an overview of the developmental history of stay-right laws for slower traffic in the United States, including generic laws applicable to all vehicles and special laws applicable only to bicycles. Particular attention is focused on the Uniform Vehicle Code (UVC) and the state laws of California and North Carolina. The paper concludes with BikeWalk NC’s reasons for recommending that North Carolina preserve its existing generic stay-right law.

Appreciation for the Generic Slow Vehicle Law — Living without laws that punish bicyclists for being slower than motorcyclists and narrower than tractors has worked well in North Carolina. Bicyclist advocates in other states would do well to pursue the same full driver rights.