Important Disclaimer: The following are laws that regulate bicycle use in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The statute language and titles have been edited for clarity and length. This list is not complete. Please use the reference links at the end to look up the exact language of the applicable laws.
Indiana Law – Definitions
§ 9-13-2-14 "Bicycle"
"Bicycle" means any foot-propelled vehicle, irrespective of the number of wheels in contact with the ground.
§ 9-13-2-73 "Highway or Street"
"Highway" or "street" means the entire width between the boundary lines of every publicly maintained way when any part of the way is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel in Indiana. The term includes an alley in a city or town.
§ 9-13-2-157 "Roadway"
"Roadway" means that part of a highway improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel. The term does not include the sidewalk, berm, or shoulder, even if the sidewalk, berm, or shoulder is used by persons riding bicycles or other human powered vehicles.
§ IC 9-13-2-196 "Vehicle"
"Vehicle" means, except as otherwise provided in this section, a device in, upon, or by which a person or property is, or may be, transported or drawn upon a highway. The term does not include the following: (1) A device moved by human power. … (d) For purposes of IC 9-30-5, IC 9-30-6, IC 9-30-8, and IC 9-30-9 [Drunk Driving Laws], the term means a device for transportation by land or air. The term does not include an electric personal assistive mobility device.
Indiana Law – Bicycles
§ 9-21-11-1 Parents and guardians; authorizing or permitting violation of chapter; bicycles; application of chapter
- The parent of a child and the guardian of a protected person may not authorize or knowingly permit the child or protected person to violate this chapter.
- Subject to the exceptions stated, the provisions of this chapter applicable to bicycles apply whenever a bicycle is operated upon a highway or a path set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.
§ 9-21-11-2 Roadways; rights and duties
A person riding a bicycle upon a roadway has all the rights and duties under this article that are applicable to a person who drives a vehicle, except the following:
- Special regulations of this article.
- Those provisions of this article that by their nature have no application.
§ 9-21-11-3 Operation; seats; passengers
- A person propelling a bicycle may not: (a) ride other than upon the permanent and regular seat attached to the bicycle; or (b) carry any other person upon the bicycle who is not seated upon a firmly attached and regular seat on the bicycle.
- A person may not ride upon a bicycle unless seated under this section.
§ 9-21-11-4 Number of passengers
A bicycle may not be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which the bicycle is designed and equipped.
§ 9-21-11-6 No more than two abreast in roadway
A person riding a bicycle upon a roadway may not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.
§ 9-21-11-7 Packages, bundles, or other articles preventing proper use of handlebars
A person who rides a bicycle may not carry a package, a bundle, or an article that prevents the person from keeping both hands upon the handlebars.
§ 9-21-11-8 Use of siren or whistle prohibited
A bicycle may not be equipped with and a person may not use upon a bicycle a siren or whistle.
§ 9-21-11-9 Lamps and reflectors
A bicycle operated on a highway from one-half (1/2) hour after sunset until one-half (1/2) hour before sunrise must be equipped with the following:
- A lamp on the front exhibiting a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front.
- A lamp on the rear exhibiting a red light visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear or a red reflector visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear.
§ 9-21-11-10 Brakes
A bicycle must be equipped with a brake that will enable the person who operates the bicycle to make the braked wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement.
§ 9-21-11-11 Highways; regulations and requirements
A person who operates a bicycle upon a highway shall observe the regulations and requirements of this article.
§ 9-21-3-7 Exception for bicycles at Red Lights [Vehicle Detection Errors]
If the operator of a bicycle approaches an intersection that is controlled by a traffic control signal, the operator may proceed through the intersection on a steady red signal only if the operator:
- (i) comes to a complete stop at the intersection for at least one hundred twenty (120) seconds; and
- (ii) exercises due caution as provided by law, otherwise treats the traffic control signal as a stop sign, and determines that it is safe to proceed.
[ Note: Bells are no longer required ]
Indiana Law – Bicyclists As Pedestrians
§ 9-21-17-3 Duty to obey cross walk signals.
A pedestrian shall obey the instructions of an official traffic control device specifically applicable to the pedestrian, unless otherwise directed by a police officer.
§ 9-21-17-5 Riding into the path of a vehicle prohibited
A pedestrian may not suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.
§ 9-21-17-7 Crossing roadway at point not marked as a crosswalk must yield of right-of-way to traffic
A pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.
§ 9-21-17-8 Pedestrian tunnel or overhead crossing must yield of right-of-way to traffic
A pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.
§ 9-21-17-9 Jaywalking prohibited
Between adjacent intersections at which traffic control signals are in operation, pedestrians may not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk.
§ 9-21-17-10 Pedestrians must not cross at intersections diagonally
A pedestrian may not cross a roadway intersection diagonally unless authorized by official traffic control devices.
§ 9-21-17-11 Pedestrians must use the right half of Crosswalks.
Pedestrians shall move, whenever practicable, upon the right half of crosswalks.
Indiana Law – Bicyclists on the Road (Selected Laws)
§ 9-30-5-1 Operating While Intoxicated
A person who operates a vehicle with an alcohol concentration equivalent to at least 0.08 gram of alcohol but less than 0.15 gram of alcohol per 210 liters of the person’s breath commits a Class C misdemeanor.
§ 9-21-8-25 Signal must be used before turning or changing lanes.
A signal of intention to turn right or left shall be given continuously during not less than the last 200 feet traveled by a vehicle before turning or changing lanes.
§ 9-21-8-32 Duty to Obey Stop Signs
A person who drives a vehicle shall stop at an intersection where a stop sign is erected at one or more entrances to a through highway that are not a part of the through highway and proceed cautiously, yielding to vehicles that are not required to stop.
§ 9-21-8-28 Hand and arm signals; left turn; right turn; decrease in speed
All signals required under this chapter may be given by hand and arm. A signal given under this section shall be given from the left side of the vehicle in the following manner:
- A left turn is indicated by extending the hand and arm horizontally.
- A right turn is indicated by extending the hand and arm upward.
- A stop or decreased speed is indicated by extending the hand and arm downward.
Indiana Law for Motorists
§ 9-21-8-37 Motorists must use due care to avoid bicyclists
Notwithstanding other provisions of this article or a local ordinance, a person who drives a vehicle shall do the following: Exercise due care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian or a person propelling a human powered vehicle, giving an audible signal when necessary.
Fort Wayne City Code for Bicyclists
§ 74.02 Serial Number Required
It shall be unlawful to destroy, remove, alter, cover or deface the manufacturer’s serial number of any bicycle. It shall be unlawful for any person to own or have custody of a bicycle, the original manufacturer’s serial number of which has been destroyed, removed, altered, covered or defaced.
§ 74.34 Operation Of Bicycles
- Every person riding a bicycle upon a street shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle. Every person riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to a pedestrian.
- The regulations in the traffic code applicable to bicycles shall apply whenever a bicycle is operated upon any roadway or public sidewalk or upon any shared-use path, subject to those exceptions stated herein.
- The operator of a bicycle shall not overtake standing vehicles in a travel lane.
§ 74.35 Speed To Be Reasonable And Prudent To Surrounding Conditions
No person shall operate a bicycle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions then existing.
§ 74.36 Emerging From Alleys Or Driveways
The operator of a bicycle 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.
§ 74.37 Parking Of Bicycles
No person shall park a bicycle upon the traveled portion of the street. Bicycles may be parked only upon the sidewalk area in a rack provided to support the bicycle, against a building or in such manner as to afford the least obstruction to pedestrian traffic.
§ 74.38 Riding On Sidewalk Area
- Whenever any person is riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk, such person shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian.
- No person shall operate a moped or motorized bicycle on any sidewalk.
Fort Wayne City Code for Motorists
§ 71.06 Operation Of Vehicles In Roadways Where Bicycles Are Present
- Drivers to exercise due care. Every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any person operating a bicycle or other device propelled by human or animal power, upon any** roadway, and shall give warning by sounding the horn only when necessary; and shall exercise proper precautions when sharing the travel lanes with bicycles .
- Turning right in front of a bicycle. When a motor vehicle and a bicycle are traveling in the same direction on any highway, street, or road, the operator of the motor vehicle overtaking such bicycle traveling on the right side of the roadway shall not turn to the right in front of the bicycle at an intersection or at any alley or driveway until such vehicle has overtaken and is safely clear of the bicycle .
- Turning left in front of a bicycle. The driver of a vehicle within an intersection intending to turn to the left shall yield the right-of-way to a bicycle approaching from the opposite direction and which is within the intersection or so close thereto as to constitute an immediate hazard.
- Passing of bicycles. The operator of a motor vehicle passing a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on a highway, street, or road shall leave a safe distance, but not less than three feet, when passing the bicycle , and shall maintain that distance until safely past the overtaken bicycle .
§ 71.07 Operation Of Vehicles In Roadways With Bicycle Lanes
- Operating on roads with bicycle lanes. The driver or operator of any vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to an individual operating a bicycle on a designated bike lane.
- Turning on roads with bicycle lanes. The driver of a motor vehicle can only enter a bicycle lane to make a right turn when it is safe and unobstructed of all cyclists.
- Driving on bicycle lanes. The driver of a vehicle shall not drive, stand, or park the vehicle upon any on street path or lane designated by official signs or markings for the use of bicycles unless entering or exiting a legal parking space; or otherwise drive or place the vehicle in such a manner as to impede bicycle traffic on such path or lane.
§ 72.22 Stopping, Standing Or Parking Prohibited In Bike Lane
No vehicle shall be stopped, standing or parked except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or in compliance with law or other direction of a police officer or traffic control device in any of the following places… (S) Upon any on-street bicycle facilities designated by signage and/or pavement marking for the shared use of motor vehicles and bicycles , or in such a manner as to impede bicycle traffic on such lane.
Photo: Bike Lane by Bill Dickinson used under the Creative Commons license. (unaltered)
Updated: April 30, 2019