General Bicycle Rules and Regulations
You can get a partial list of rules. More detailed information is available online.
Learn more about bike safety and regulations.
Use of Motorized Scooters or Electric Bicycles
Motorized scooters or electric bicycles without a license plate are prohibited by City and State law. They are not allowed on public roadways.
Department of Transportation maintains New York City Traffic Rules and educates business owners and delivery cyclists on bicycle safety laws, including the commercial cyclist laws.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) enforces these laws and the Traffic Rules.
Bicycle Helmet Requirements
Recreational Cyclists: All children up to age 14 are required by New York State law to wear bike helmets certified by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). All bicycle riders up to age 14 must wear approved helmets.
Commercial Cyclists: New York City law requires all commercial cyclists to wear securely fastened, properly fitted helmets that are in good condition. Employers are required to ensure that their commercial cyclists wear helmets.
Bicycle Rule Enforcement
NYPD enforces traffic rules on City streets and in Central Park. Any cyclist not obeying all traffic rules may be issued a Traffic Violation by a police officer.
Riding a Bicycle on the Sidewalk
Children age 12 and younger may ride their bicycles on the sidewalk. All other cyclists may receive a summons for riding on a City sidewalk.
Commercial Bicycle Safety Requirements
Businesses are required to equip their delivery bicycles with these safety devices:
- Front white light
- Back red light
- Bell or horn
They also must provide helmets that meet City safety standards. Delivery cyclists must wear the helmets and fasten them securely.
Learn more about commercial bicycling rules and requirements.
Commercial Cyclists Safety Poster
Businesses that make deliveries by bicycle are required to post bicycle safety procedures. Models of the poster with the required information are available for download in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, or Russian on the Department of Transportation's website. The posters must be at least 11 x 17 inches and contain 21 point font type.
Failure to post this sign will result in a fine.
Learn more about commercial bicycling requirements for businesses.
Certain pedal-assist bicycles may be legally operated on New York City streets.
Pedal-assist bicycles are defined as bicycles that have fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 horsepower). The electric motor can only engage when the operator is pedaling and going less than 20 miles per hour, and disengages or stops to function when the operator brakes, stops pedaling, or when the bicycle reaches a speed of 20 miles per hour. Pedal-assist bicycles cannot be equipped with any throttle capacity or have additional motorized equipment attached to it.
The pedal-assist bicycle must have an original label, provided by the bicycle or electric motor manufacturer, that states the maximum motor-assisted speed and motor wattage of the bicycle. Pedal-assist bicycles that have been modified are not considered to be pedal-assist bicycles and may not be operated on NYC streets.