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Rules of the Road for Nebraska Bicyclists: What You Need to Know

As the weather finally starts to warm up, we at The Advocates are excited to see more people out riding bicycles and enjoying the sunshine. It’s important, though, to make sure that cyclists and motorists alike are following bicycle safety guidelines in order to avoid accidents.


We’ll go over some of the most important Nebraska bicycle laws, so you’re ready to ride safely this summer.

Does Nebraska Have a Bicycle Helmet Law?Numero de personas en bicicleta

Nebraska has no state law regarding helmet use. Some cities and municipalities have their own ordinances. It’s important to check the local bike laws ahead of time in any area you plan to ride.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that riding without a helmet is recommended. In fact, according to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, non-helmeted riders are 14 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than helmeted riders.

When Do Cyclists Have the Right-of-Way?

Nebraska Revised Statute 60-6, 314 states that, with few exceptions, bicycles have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicles when traveling on public roadways. This means that bicycles have the right-of-way in any circumstance where a motorist would also have the right-of-way

For example, motorists making left turns should yield to bicyclists traveling straight in the opposite direction. Likewise, bicyclists should yield to motor vehicles when applicable. They should also yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.

Do Bikes Have to Obey Traffic Signals and Stop Signs?

The short answer here is yes. Bicyclists must stop at red lights and obey other traffic control devices, just like a motor vehicle would. 

Nebraska does not observe the “Idaho stop” law, which allows cyclists to safely ride through red lights if their weight is not enough to trigger the sensor. Nebraska cyclists must wait for the light to turn.

Can Bicyclists Ride Two Abreast in Nebraska?

Most states allow bikers to ride side-by-side in at least some situations. Nebraska is not one of those states. Cyclists in Nebraska must remain single file, unless they are on the shoulder.

Do Bicyclists Have to Use the Bike Lane in Nebraska?

Nebraska has a mandatory side path law. This law states that cyclists should not ride on the highway if a usable bike path is available.

In cases where a bicycle lane or path is not available, cyclists should ride as close as practicable to the right side of the road. There are, however, exceptions to this rule. They include:

Can Bicycles Ride on Sidewalks?

There is no Nebraska state law prohibiting the riding of bicycles on sidewalks. Some cities, towns, and college campuses have restrictions on the practice, so check local laws before riding bikes in any area.

What Are the Hand Signals for Bicyclists?

Just as motor vehicles should signal their intent to turn or change lanes, so too should bicycle riders. Because bicycles are not equipped with turn signals or brake lights, cyclists should use hand signals:

  1. Left Turn: To indicate a left turn, extend your left arm horizontally out to the side.
  2. Right Turn: For a right turn, either extend your right arm horizontally out to the side OR use your left arm and bend it upward at a 90-degree angle.
  3. Stop or Slowing Down: To signal that you are slowing down or coming to a stop, extend your left arm downward, with your palm facing to the rear.

What Equipment Does a Bicycle Need?

Bicycles should be equipped with the following:

Additionally, cyclists must keep at least one hand on the handlebars at all times. Cyclists may only ride astride the permanent, regular seat attached to the bike.

How Can Motorists Drive Safely Around Cyclists?

Bicyclists are not the only people who are responsible for keeping our roadways safe. Drivers of motor vehicles should respect cyclists’ space and share the road.

Take the following precautions to help keep Nebraska cyclists safe:

What Should I Do if I Am Involved in a Bicycle Accident in Nebraska?

A bicycle crash can be a life-altering event, particularly for the cyclist. With physical injuries, emotional trauma, and financial damages, it may seem like things will never return to normal. It’s normal to feel angry, frustrated, stressed, or overwhelmed after an accident.

The Nebraska Advocates can help. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will be by your side during every step of your recovery. We’re not just lawyers–we’re members of your community. We can recommend excellent local medical care providers, help you get your bike fixed, and get you the settlement you deserve after your accident.

Contact us today for a free consultation. In the aftermath of a bicycle crash, you deserve to feel heard, seen, and understood. You deserve an Advocate.