Massachusetts law about bicycles

A compilation of laws, regulations, and web sources on bicycle law.

Table of Contents

Best bet

Laws for bicyclists and motorists in the presence of bicycles: rules of the road, Chapter 4, pp. 108-112, Registry of Motor Vehicles
Detailed summary of bicycle laws with cites to laws

Massachusetts laws

16 or under Must wear a helmet

MGL c.85 § 11B Bicycles: rules for operation, helmets, other requirements. The Primary Bike Law

MGL c.6 § 116E Training for law enforcement in bicycle safety enforcement

MGL c.82, §§ 35-36 Bike paths

MGL c.85 § 11D Stores selling or renting bikes must display sign about helmet law. Renters must make helmets available.

MGL c.85 § 11E Cyclist stopped for a traffic law must give his name and address; ticketing procedure is same as that for motor vehicles in MGL c.90C 

MGL c.89 § 2 Rules for car passing bicycle

MGL c.90 § 1B-1E Motorized bicycles (Ebikes): operating regulations, complying with federal safety standards, and registration sticker.

Over 16 To ride an ebike

MGL c.90 § 14 Rules for cars sharing the road with bicycles and others

MGL c.90E  Bikeways

MGL c.266 § 41 Larceny of bicycles, 2d conviction

Massachusetts regulations

302 CMR 12 Rules of conduct on Department of Conservation and Recreation property.

720 CMR 9  Driving on state highways. Includes provisions that apply to bicycles, such as yielding to pedestrians, and limitations on bicycle operation on certain roads

Web sources

Bikes on the T, MBTA
Explains when and how you can bring your bike on the subway, commuter rail or bus

Bicycle transportation, Mass. Dept. of Transportation information on plans and initiatives supporting bicycle transportation.

League of American Bicyclists National organization that “represents bicyclists in the movement to create safer roads, stronger communities, and a bicycle-friendly America”.  Maintains collection of summaries of state bicycling laws.

Print sources

Motor vehicle law and practice, 4th ed. (Mass. practice v.11), West, 2008 with supplement. Section 11.11: Bicycles.

Municipal law and practice, 5th ed.(Mass. practice, v.18A), West, 2006 with supplement. Section 16.17: Bicycles

Consumer law, 3d ed. (Mass. practice v.35), West, 2010 with supplement. Section 7:112 – 7:114 recreational equipment – bicycles, helmets, motorized recreational vehicles.

Contact

Phone

Within Massachusetts only

Within Massachusetts only

Online

Reference librarians online Chat with a law librarian 
Reference librarians via email masslawlib@gmail.com

Address

Administrative office (no law library at this location)
2 Center Plaza
9th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Last updated: March 19, 2019
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