Bicycle Safety

Louisiana’s Bicycle Laws and Safety Tips

In Louisiana, the bicycle is legally defined as a vehicle.  Bicyclists have the same traffic laws, as the operators of other vehicles.  The laws include: stopping for stop signs and red lights, riding with the flow of traffic, using lights at night and yielding to right a way when entering a roadway.

Bicyclists must:

  • Obey all traffic controls and signals
  • Use a permanent, regular seat for riding
  • Have at least one hand on the handlebars while riding
  • Not carry more people at one time than the bike is designed and equipped to accommodate
  • Not attach himself or the bicycle to any vehicle on the highway
  • Not ride on any Louisiana interstate highway

Required Equipment

  • Every bicycle must be equipped with a brake which will allow the operator to make the brake wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement
  • Bicycles operating at night must be equipped with a front lamp emitting a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front as well as a red reflector on the rear and reflectors on each side, facing out, at a right angle to the bicycle frame, visible within a range of 600 feet from the rear when directly in front of low beam headlamps on a motor vehicle.
  • Additional lighting is permitted and recommended

Roadway Position

  • Bicyclists must ride as near to the right side of the roadway as is safe and practicable, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.
  • Whenever a usable path for bicyclists is provided adjacent to the roadway, bicyclists must use the path and not the road.


  • Tires may fall through sewer and drainage grates. When the front tire drops, you go over the handlebars.  Scan for traffic and move further into the lane to go around.  If you must cross the grate, move diagonally to the grid or better yet, walk your bike over the grated area.

Rain and Railroad Tracks

  • Watch out for slippery surfaces, especially leaves, motor oil and paint-strips. Corner slowly, avoid paddles and brake evenly.
  • Be sure to cross railroad tracks straight on, otherwise the tracks may trap the front wheel causing a fall.

 Protecting your Bike from Theft

  • Always lock your bike when you must leave it unattended.
  • Choose a locking system that can not be easily cut, such as a U-shaped lock and always try to secure the bike frame and both tires to a stationery object.  It is not enough to secure only the front wheel, because then the rest of the bike can be easily stolen.

Where ever you live, check to see if the local police department has a bicycle registration program and use it.

Loyola’s mandatory bike registration and permit program:

All Loyola community members who have a bike on campus must register it with LUPD at their Biever Hall headquarters. You will then be given a numbered bike permit decal to place on your bike and a copy of your registration will be placed in our files and one given to you. This will enable us to recall the make, model, color and size of your bike and the serial number in case it is ever stolen or misplaced. This is a free service and can be done 24-7.