Alabama Cycling Laws


General Information

All laws mentioned below are subject to change.

(Source of the information :

Alabama State Laws

Know The Rules When Riding

Safe Passing Laws

Alabama requires that all vehicles are overtaken and passed at a safe distance. For the purposes of a vehicle overtaking and passing a bicycle, a safe distance is shall mean not less than three feet on any of the following:

  • A roadway that has a marked bicycle lane, or
  • A roadway without a marked bicycle lane if the roadway has a marked speed limit of 45 miles per hour or less and the roadway does not have a double yellow line separating cars from oncoming traffic indicating a no passing zone

Alabama law states that the definition of a safe distance as not less than three feet when passing a bicyclist shall only apply when a cyclist is riding within two feet of the right shoulder of the roadway.
Source: COA §32-5A-82

Share the Road license plates

Alabama began offering “I Share the Road” license plates in 2017. The net proceeds of the program are used by the Fairhope Cycling Project to promote, educate, and help make the communities of Alabama bicycle and pedestrian friendly.
Source: COA §32-6-64

Sidewalk Riding

Alabama prohibits the driving any vehicle upon a sidewalk or sidewalk area except upon a permanent or duly authorized temporary driveway. This prohibition applies to bicycles since they are defined as vehicles in Alabama and there are no other statutes which authorize the use of bicycles on sidewalks.
Source: Ala. Code §§32-5A-52; 22-27-90

Mandatory Use of Separated Facilities

Alabama requires that wherever a usable path for bicycles has been provided adjacent to a roadway, bicycle riders shall use such path and shall not use the roadway.
Source: Ala. Code §32-5A-263

Authorization for Local Regulation of bicycles

Alabama does not specifically provide for local authorities to regulate the operation of bicycles or require registration of bicycles, although such authorities may regulate the operation of bicycles through the exercise of their other legal powers.
Source: N/A

Treatment as a Vehicle

In Alabama are vehicles according to the statute that defines vehicles and a person riding a bicycle has all of the rights and duties of the driver of a vehicle as provided in Chapter 32-5A.

Source: Ala. Code §§32-1-1.1(81); 32-5A-260

Helmet Law

Alabama requires that any person under the age of 16 riding a bicycle, as an operator or passenger, must wear a protective bicycle helmet.
Sources: COA §§32-5A-283; 32-5A-285

Vulnerable Road User Laws

Alabama does not have any vulnerable road user laws at this time. There are currently no national standards for laws protecting vulnerable road users, but the League of American Bicyclists has drafted a Model Vulnerable Road User statute, which you can find here.
Source: N/A

Distracted Driving Laws

Alabama has passed a law prohibiting writing, sending, or reading text messages on an electronic device while operating a motor vehicle. This law has not yet been codified and made available through Alabama’s state statute directory, although the law is nevertheless effective.
Source: See Act 2012-291

Bicycling Under the Influence

In Alabama, bicycles are defined as vehicles. Alabama’s law prohibiting driving while under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances is written so that it applies to all vehicles and therefore applies to bicyclists. Bicycles should not be operated while intoxicated and operating a bicycle while under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances may result in severe punishments.
Source: Ala. Code §§32-5A-191; 22-27-90

Where to Ride

Alabama requires that bicyclists ride as far to the right as practicable. Alabama does not provide for any exceptions to that requirement.
Source: Ala. Code §32-5A-263

Dooring laws

Alabama requires that no person open the door of a motor vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so, and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic. In addition, no person shall leave a door open on the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.

Source: Ala. Code §32-5A-82

Electric Assist Bikes

Alabama does not necessarily have an “E-Bike” law pertaining specifically to what most would think of as an electric bicycle. However, for the time being, “E-Bikes” probably would be governed under Chapter 12 of Title 32 which pertains to Motorcycles and Motor-Drive Cycles.In sum, the provision would be – follow the rules of the road the same as any other motor vehicle.

Source: N/A


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