Rules of the Road

The SF Bicycle Coalition is proud to be the leading resource for street safety in San Francisco. Every year, we reach tens of thousands of people with the Bicycle Rules of the Road. Here are the bike laws you need to know to pedal safely and legally:


Pedestrians Have the Right of Way

In the crosswalk or not, bike riders and drivers are required to yield to pedestrians. (CVC 21954 (b))


Stop Behind the Crosswalk

Leave crosswalks free and clear for pedestrians. Always stop behind the line. (CVC 2195021455)


Mind the Signs and Lights

Stop at stop signs and obey red lights, just like all other vehicles. (CVC 21200)


Stay on the Streets

It’s illegal to ride on the sidewalk if you are over the age of 13. (SF Transportation Code Sec. 7.2.12)


Go With the Flow

Ride the same direction as traffic. Walk your bike on the sidewalk if you find yourself on the wrong block of a one-way street. (CVC 21650)


Take the Lane

If you’re next to parked cars or you’re riding in a narrow lane — if you feel safer, take the lane and ride outside the door zone. (CVC 21202)


It’s OK to Leave the Bike Lane

If you feel safer outside the bike lane, you can ride in other vehicle travel lanes. Merge when safe and signal when changing lanes. (CVC 21208)


Light up the Night

Reflectors and a front white light are required by law. We recommend you use a rear light as well. (CVC 21201)


Keep an Ear Clear

Even when using hands-free devices, bike riders and drivers are required to keep one ear free of headphones. (CVC 27400)


Be a Friend to Disabled Neighbors

Sometimes people with disabilities need access to the curb. Paratransit carriers (including taxis) may have to enter the bikeway to drop them off. Be a good neighbor and give them room. (SFMTA Policy)


Pass on the Left

Although bike lanes are often on the right side of the road, people biking and driving are required to pass on the left. (CVC 21202)