By Kenneth J Knabe- Greater Cleveland’s Bicycle Accident & Safety Attorney representing fellow cyclists injured by unsafe drivers. 14222 Madison Avenue, Lakewood, Ohio 44107. Phone: 216 228 7200; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.brownandszaller.com. Attorney Knabe is a fellow cyclist, local bike club member and supporter, personal injury trial lawyer and corporate sponsor and co-author of the “Bikes and the Law” section for Bikecleveland.org.
As a fellow cyclist it is important to know the “rules of the road.” University Heights, Ohio’s city ordinances pertaining to bicycles are set forth below. Knowledge of your local bike laws empowers you to ride safer!
Bicycles and Motorcycles Generally
444.01 Code application to bicycles.
444.02 Riding upon seats; carrying packages; motorcycle handle bars; helmets and glasses.
444.03 Attaching bicycles, motorcycles to other vehicles.
444.04 Riding on right side of roadway; riding abreast.
444.05 Lights, signal devices, brakes on bicycles.
438.02 Lighted lights; measurement of distance and heights
444.06 Operation generally.
444.07 Safe riding regulations for bicycles.
444.075 Reckless operation; control, course and speed.
444.09 Parent’s responsibility.
444.11 Operation of motorized bicycles.
444.12 Bicycle license required.
444.13 Restrictions upon use of streets.
444.01 CODE APPLICATION TO BICYCLES.
(a) The provisions of this Traffic Code which are applicable to bicycles apply whenever a bicycle is operated upon any highway or upon any path set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.
(b) Except as provided in division (d) of this section, a bicycle operator who violates any provisions of this Traffic Code described in division (a) of this section that is applicable to bicycles may be issued a ticket, citation, or summons by a law enforcement officer for the violation in the same manner as the operator of a motor vehicle would be cited for the same violation. A person who commits any such violation while operating a bicycle shall not have any points assessed against the person’s driver’s license, commercial driver’s license, temporary instruction permit, or probationary license under Ohio R.C. 4510.036.
(c) Except as provided in division (d) of this section, in the case of a violation of any provision of this Traffic Code described in division (a) of this section by a bicycle operator or by a motor vehicle operator when the trier of fact finds that the violation by the motor vehicle operator endangered the lives of bicycle riders at the time of the violation, the court, notwithstanding any provision of the Ohio Revised Code to the contrary, may require the bicycle operator or motor vehicle operator to take and successfully complete a bicycling skills course approved by the court in addition to or in lieu of any penalty otherwise prescribed by this Traffic Code or the Ohio Revised Code for that violation.
(d) Divisions (b) and (c) of this section do not apply to violations of Ohio R.C. 4511.19, or a substantially equivalent municipal ordinance.
(e) Every person operating a bicycle shall obey the instructions of official traffic control devices and signals applicable to vehicles, unless otherwise directed by a police officer.
(f) The provisions of this Traffic Code shall apply to bicycles except those which by their nature are not applicable.
(1982 Code, § 373.01)
444.02 RIDING UPON SEATS; CARRYING PACKAGES; MOTORCYCLE HANDLE BARS; HELMETS AND GLASSES.
(a) For purposes of this section, “snowmobile” has the same meaning as given that term in Ohio R.C. 4519.01.
(b) (1) No person operating a bicycle shall ride other than upon or astride the permanent and regular seat attached thereto or carry any other person upon such bicycle other than upon a firmly attached and regular seat thereon, and no person shall ride upon a bicycle other than upon such a firmly attached and regular seat.
(2) No person operating a motorcycle shall ride other than upon or astride the permanent and regular seat or saddle attached thereto, or carry any other person upon such motorcycle other than upon a firmly attached and regular seat or saddle thereon, and no person shall ride upon a motorcycle other than upon such a firmly attached and regular seat or saddle.
(3) No person shall ride upon a motorcycle that is equipped with a saddle other than while sitting astride the saddle, facing forward, with one leg on each side of the motorcycle.
(4) No person shall ride upon a motorcycle that is equipped with a seat other than while sitting upon the seat.
(5) No person operating a bicycle shall carry any package, bundle, or article that prevents the driver from keeping at least one hand upon the handlebars.
(6) No bicycle or motorcycle shall be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped. No motorcycle shall be operated on a highway when the handlebars rise higher than the shoulders of the operator when the operator is seated in the operator’s seat or saddle.
(c) (1) Except as provided in division (c)(3) of this section, no person shall operate or be a passenger on a snowmobile or motorcycle without using safety glasses or other protective eye device. Except as provided in division (c)(3) of this section, no person who is under the age of 18 years, or who holds a motorcycle operator’s endorsement or license bearing a “novice” designation that is currently in effect as provided in R.C. § 4507.13, shall operate a motorcycle on a highway, or be a passenger on a motorcycle, unless wearing a protective helmet on the person’s head, and no other person shall be a passenger on a motorcycle operated by such a person unless similarly wearing a protective helmet. The helmet, safety glasses, or other protective eye device shall conform with rules adopted by the Ohio Director of Public Safety. The provisions of this paragraph or a violation thereof shall not be used in the trial of any civil action.
(2) A. Except as provided in division (c)(3) of this section, no person shall operate a motorcycle with a valid temporary instruction permit and temporary instruction permit identification card issued by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles pursuant to R.C. § 4507.05 unless the person, at the time of such operation, is wearing on the person’s head a protective helmet that conforms with rules adopted by the Ohio Director of Public Safety.
(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting the carrying of a child in a seat or trailer that is designed for carrying children and is firmly attached to the bicycle.
(ORC 4511.53(A) – (D))
444.03 ATTACHING BICYCLES, MOTORCYCLES TO OTHER VEHICLES.
(a) No person riding upon any bicycle, coaster, roller skates, sled, or toy vehicle shall attach the same or himself or herself to any vehicle upon a roadway.
(b) No operator shall knowingly permit any person riding upon any bicycle, coaster, roller skates, sled, or toy vehicle to attach the same or himself or herself to any vehicle while it is moving upon a roadway.
(c) This section does not apply to towing a disabled vehicle.
444.04 RIDING ON RIGHT SIDE OF ROADWAY; RIDING ABREAST.
(a) Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable obeying all traffic rules applicable to vehicles and exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.
(b) Persons riding bicycles or motorcycles upon a roadway shall ride not more than two abreast in a single lane, except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles or motorcycles.
(c) This section does not require a person operating a bicycle to ride at the edge of the roadway when it is unreasonable or unsafe to do so. Conditions that may require riding away from the edge of the roadway include when necessary to avoid fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, surface hazards, or if it otherwise is unsafe or impracticable to do so, including if the lane is too narrow for the bicycle and an overtaking vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.
(ORC 4511.55(A), (B), (C))
444.05 LIGHTS, SIGNAL DEVICES, BRAKES ON BICYCLES.
(a) Every bicycle when in use at the times specified in Ohio R.C. 4513.03 or a substantially similar municipal ordinance shall be equipped with the following:
(1) A lamp mounted on the front of either the bicycle or the operator that shall emit a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front and 300 feet to the sides. A generator- powered lamp that emits light only when the bicycle is moving may be used to meet this requirement.
(2) A red reflector on the rear that shall be visible from all distances from 100 feet to 600 feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful lower beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle;
(3) A lamp emitting either flashing or steady red light visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear shall be used in addition to the red reflector. If the red lamp performs as a reflector in that it is visible as specified in division (A)(2) of this section, the red lamp may serve as the reflector and a separate reflector is not required.
(b) Additional lamps and reflectors may be used in addition to those required under division (a) of this section, except that red lamps and red reflectors shall not be used on the front of the bicycle and white lamps and white reflectors shall not be used on the rear of the bicycle.
(c) A bicycle may be equipped with a device capable of giving an audible signal, except that a bicycle shall not be equipped with nor shall any person use upon a bicycle any siren or whistle.
(d) Every bicycle shall be equipped with an adequate brake when used on a street or highway.
(ORC 4511.56(A) – (D))
438.02 LIGHTED LIGHTS; MEASUREMENT OF DISTANCES AND HEIGHTS.
(a) Every vehicle, other than a motorized bicycle, operated upon a street or highway within this state shall display lighted lights and illuminating devices as required by Ohio R.C. 4513.04 through 4513.37 during all of the following times:
(1) The time from sunset to sunrise;
(2) At any other time when, due to insufficient natural light or unfavorable atmospheric conditions, persons, vehicles and substantial objects on the highway are not discernible at a distance of 1,000 feet ahead;
(3) At any time when the windshield wipers of the vehicle are in use because of precipitation on the windshield.
(b) Every motorized bicycle shall display at such times lighted lights meeting the rules adopted by the Ohio Director of Public Safety under Ohio R.C. 4511.521. No motor vehicle, during any time specified in this section, shall be operated upon a street or highway within this state using only parking lights as illumination.
(c) Whenever in such sections a requirement is declared as to the distance from which certain lamps and devices shall render objects visible, or within which such lamps or devices shall be visible, such distance shall be measured upon a straight level unlighted highway under normal atmospheric conditions unless a different condition is expressly stated.
(d) Whenever in such sections a requirement is declared as to the mounted height of lights or devices, it shall mean from the center of such light or device to the level ground upon which the vehicle stands.
(e) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, no law enforcement officer shall cause the operator of a vehicle being operated upon a street or highway within this state to stop the vehicle solely because the officer observes that a violation of division (a)(3) of this section has been or is being committed or for the sole purpose of issuing a ticket, citation, or summons for a violation of that division, or causing the arrest of or commencing a prosecution of a person for a violation of that division.
(ORC 4513.03 (A))
444.06 OPERATION GENERALLY.
(a) Turns. Whenever authorized signs are erected indicating that no right, left or “U” turn is permitted, no person operating a bicycle or motorcycle shall disobey the direction of any such sign, except when such person dismounts from the bicycle or motorcycle to make any such turn, in which event such person shall then obey the regulations applicable to pedestrians.
(b) Emerging from Alley or Driveway, The operator of a bicycle or motorcycle emerging from an alley, driveway or building, shall, upon approaching a sidewalk or the sidewalk area extending across any alleyway, yield the right of way to all pedestrians approaching on such sidewalk or sidewalk area, and upon entering the roadway shall yield the right of way to all vehicles approaching on such roadway.
(Ord. 59-88. Passed 12-21-1959.)
(c) Riding on Sidewalks; Crossing Through Streets.
(1) No person shall ride a bicycle or motorcycle upon a sidewalk in a business district.
(2) No person fourteen years or more shall ride a bicycle or motorcycle upon any sidewalk in any district. Persons under the age of fourteen years shall ride their bicycles upon a sidewalk rather than the roadway.
(1982 Code, § 373.10) (Ord. 63-43. Passed 6-17-1963.)
444.07 SAFE RIDING REGULATIONS FOR BICYCLES.
(a) Whenever a person is riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk or street, such person shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal before attempting to overtake and pass a pedestrian or another bicycle. This audible signal must be given only by bell or other warning device capable of giving an audible signal and shall be given at such a distance and in such a manner as not to startle the person being overtaken and passed.
(b) No person shall ride a bicycle across or through any intersection involving a through street. Such intersections are to be crossed by walking the bicycle across or through the intersection.
(c) Whenever a person is riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk, the person, before overtaking and passing a blind person carrying a white or metallic cane, shall dismount and overtake or pass on foot.
(d) When a bicycle is operated on the street, the operator shall give hand signals before turning, changing lanes or stopping. Such signals shall conform with Ohio R.C. 4511.40, or a substantially equivalent municipal ordinance.
(e) Every rider of a bicycle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian or any vehicle upon any roadway, sidewalk or bicycle path, or endangering the life, limb or property of any person while in the lawful use of the streets, sidewalks or any other private or public property.
(f) No person shall operate a bicycle at a speed greater than is reasonable and proper under the conditions then existing.
(g) The operator of a bicycle emerging from or turning into an alley, driveway or building shall, upon approaching a sidewalk or the sidewalk area extending across any alley, driveway or building, yield the right-of-way to all pedestrians approaching on such sidewalk area. Upon entering the street, such operator shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching on such street.
(h) No person shall engage in trick riding or operate a bicycle without both hands upon the handle grips except when necessary to give the hand signals required herein.
444.075 RECKLESS OPERATION; CONTROL, COURSE AND SPEED.
No person shall operate a bicycle:
(a) Without due regard for the safety and rights of pedestrians and drivers and occupants of all other vehicles, and so as to endanger the life, limb or property of any person while in the lawful use of the streets or sidewalks or any other public or private property;
(b) Without exercising reasonable and ordinary control over such bicycle;
(c) In a weaving or zigzag course unless such irregular course is necessary for safe operation in compliance with law;
(d) Without both hands upon the handle grips except when necessary to give the required hand and arm signals, or as provided in Section 444.02(d);
(e) At a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions then existing.
(1982 Code, § 373.08)
(a) No person shall park any bicycle or motorcycle upon any street area except upon that area of the roadway against the curb.
(b) No person shall park any motorcycle upon any sidewalk area. No person shall park any bicycle upon any sidewalk area except as follows:
(1) In a rack provided to support bicycles, in a location approved by the Chief of Police; or
(2) Against a building or at the curb in such a manner as to afford the least obstruction to pedestrian traffic.
(1982 Code, § 373.09) (Ord. 59-88. Passed 12-21-1959.)
444.09 PARENT’S RESPONSIBILITY.
No parent of any child or guardian of any ward shall authorize or knowingly permit any such child or ward to violate any of the provisions of this chapter.
(a) Whenever any bicycle or motorcycle is operated by any person in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, such vehicle may be seized by any member of the Police Division and impounded in the property room of the Police Division or other suitable place designated by the Chief of Police. Such impounded vehicles shall not be released except upon written order signed by the Chief or some other officer designated by him or her.
(b) Any charges for towing or storing any impounded vehicle shall be paid by the owner of the vehicle or his or her agent directly to the garage acting as motor vehicle pound. All parking citation charges, delinquent or otherwise, as fined by the Shaker Heights Municipal Court shall be paid before such vehicle is released.
(c) Bicycles and motorcycles impounded from persons under the age of 18 years shall be released only to the parent or guardian of such person who shall be apprised by the reason for impounding the vehicle.
(1982 Code, § 373.14) (Ord. 68-98. Passed 11-4-1968.)
444.11 OPERATION OF MOTORIZED BICYCLES.
(a) No person shall operate a motorized bicycle upon a highway or any public or private property used by the public for purposes of vehicular travel or parking, unless all of the following conditions are met:
(1) The person is 14 or 15 years of age and holds a valid probationary motorized bicycle license issued after the person has passed the test provided for in this section, or the person is 16 years of age or older and holds either a valid commercial driver’s license issued under Ohio R.C. Chapter 4506 or a driver’s license issued under Ohio R.C. Chapter 4507 or a valid motorized bicycle license issued after the person has passed the test provided for in this section, except that if a person is 16 years of age, has a valid probationary motorized bicycle license and desires a motorized bicycle license, the person is not required to comply with the testing requirements provided for in this section.
(2) The motorized bicycle is equipped in accordance with the rules adopted under division (b) of this section and is in proper working order.
(3) The person, if under 18 years of age, is wearing a protective helmet on the person’s head with the chin strap properly fastened and the motorized bicycle is equipped with a rearview mirror.
(4) The person operates the motorized bicycle when practicable within three feet of the right edge of the roadway obeying all traffic rules applicable to vehicles.
(b) The Director of Public Safety, subject to Ohio R.C. Chapter 119, shall adopt and promulgate rules concerning protective helmets, the equipment of motorized bicycles, and the testing and qualifications of persons who do not hold a valid driver’s or commercial driver’s license. The test shall be as near as practicable to the examination required for a motorcycle operator’s endorsement under Ohio R.C. 4507.11. The test shall also require the operator to give an actual demonstration of the operator’s ability to operate and control a motorized bicycle by driving one under the supervision of an examining officer.
(c) Every motorized bicycle license expires on the birthday of the applicant in the fourth year after the date it is issued, but in no event shall any motorized bicycle license be issued for a period longer than four years.
(d) No person operating a motorized bicycle shall carry another person upon the motorized bicycle.
(e) The protective helmet and rearview mirror required by division (a)(3) of this section shall, on and after January 1, 1985, conform with rules adopted by the Director under division (b) of this section.
(f) Each probationary motorized bicycle license or motorized bicycle license shall be laminated with a transparent plastic material.
(g) Whoever violates division (a), (d), or (e) of this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.
Suspension of probationary motorized bicycle license by the State, see Ohio R.C. 4510.34
444.1 BICYCLE LICENSE REQUIRED.
(a) No person who resides within the City shall ride or propel a bicycle on any street or upon any public path unless such bicycle has been licensed and a license tag or plate is attached thereto as provided herein.
(b) The Chief of Police, upon receipt of an application shall register such bicycle. A record of all such registrations shall be kept in the office of the Chief of Police. At the time of registration, the Chief of Police shall furnish to the applicant a tag of form and design approved by the Chief of Police bearing a serial number, which tag shall be affixed permanently to such registered vehicle by the Chief of Police. The Chief of Police shall also deliver to such applicant a registration card showing the name and address of the applicant, the number, date of registration and a description of the bicycle, and reciting that such bicycle has been so registered. Such registration shall expire upon sale or transfer of such bicycle, or upon expiration of the registration period for which it was issued, whichever occurs first.
(c) In the event a license tag is removed or destroyed, or the time for which it was originally issued has expired, the Chief of Police, if satisfied of such fact, shall issue a new license tag upon application of the owner of the bicycle.
(Ord. 64-54. Passed 2-15-1965.)
(d) The Director of Public Safety is authorized to promulgate such rules as he or she deems desirable, in concert with the Chief of Police, dealing with the expiration and renewal of bicycle licenses. To the degree that the Director finds renewal to be unnecessary, he or she may, from time to time, extend the expiration date of licenses currently in force so long as such expiration date is extended in a nondiscriminatory fashion. When so extended, adequate means should be taken to notify the public of this fact.
(Res. 76-20. Passed 3-1-1976.)
(e) The Chief of Police, or an officer assigned such responsibility, shall inspect each bicycle before licensing the same and shall refuse a license for any bicycle which he or she determines is in unsafe mechanical condition.
(1982 Code, § 373.11) (Ord. 59-88. Passed 12-21-1959.)
444.13 RESTRICTIONS UPON USE OF STREETS.
The Chief of Police is hereby authorized to determine and designate those heavily traveled streets upon which the use of the roadway by bicycles and motor scooters shall be prohibited and shall erect appropriate signs giving notice thereof.
(1982 Code, § 373.14) (Ord. 59-88. Passed 12-21-59.)
University Heights Police contact information: