You may know that if you are riding a bicycle and are struck by someone negligently driving their car, you may recover for any damages you incur as a result of this collision. However, you may not be aware that, even if the motor vehicle driver was negligent, you may have your compensation reduced if you also were partially at fault for the cause of the accident by not abiding by the Missouri bicycle laws.

What Are the Bicycle Laws in Missouri?

Bicycle Laws in MissouriMost states have laws that apply to riding bicycles, just as they do for driving automobiles. The rules are designed for your own safety and the safety of other drivers, as well as pedestrians and other bicyclists. If you do not obey these laws while riding your bicycle, you may be subject to penalties or reduced compensation for damages, even if another party caused your injuries. Likewise, if a driver violates any of the bike laws, they may suffer penalties under the applicable statute.

Here are some of the common bicycle laws in Missouri that you must obey at all times and that may be relevant to your ability to recover for injuries sustained in an accident caused by another person:

307.180. Bicycle and motorized bicycle, defined

This provision defines the type of bicycles that are subject to the Missouri bicycle laws. These include:

  • Bicycles: defined as “every vehicle propelled solely by human power upon which any person may ride, having two tandem wheels, or two parallel wheels and one or two forward or rear wheels, all of which are more than fourteen inches in diameter, except scooters and similar devices”
  • Motorized bicycle: defined as “any two- or three-wheeled device having an automatic transmission and a motor with a cylinder capacity of not more than fifty cubic centimeters, which produces less than three gross brake horsepower, and is capable of propelling the device at a maximum speed of not more than thirty miles per hour on level ground”

300.330. Vehicle shall not be driven on a sidewalk--prohibition on obstruction of bicycle lanes--drivers to yield to bicycles in designated bicycle lanes

This provision prohibits:

  • Driving a motor vehicle within any sidewalk area unless it is a permanent or temporary driveway
  • Improperly driving a motor vehicle in a designated bicycle lane, which is part of a road or highway that is designated with pavement signs or striping, as reserved exclusively for riding bicycles

This includes driving in a designated bicycle lane for any reason other than making a lawful maneuver to cross the lane or to provide safe travel and, when doing so, not yielding to any bicycle in the lane

  • Obstructing a bicycle lane with a parked or standing motor vehicle or other stationary object

300.347. Riding bicycle on sidewalks, limitations--motorized bicycles prohibited

This provision prohibits:

  • Riding a bicycle on a sidewalk within a business district
  • Riding a motorized bicycle on a sidewalk
  • Not yielding the right-of-way to a pedestrian when riding your bicycle on a sidewalk
  • Riding your bicycle on a sidewalk and not giving audible signals before passing a pedestrian

300.411. Distance to be maintained when overtaking a bicycle

This provision prohibits:

  • Failing to maintain a safe distance when passing a bicycle riding in the same direction on the road

300.350. Riding bicycles, sleds, roller skates, by attaching to another vehicle, prohibited--pulling a rider behind vehicle prohibited

This provision prohibits:

  • Riding a bicycle and attaching to another vehicle on the road
  • Driving a vehicle and knowingly pulling a bicycle-rider behind the vehicle

303.190. Motor vehicle liability policy, contents

This provision concerns:

  • The liability insurance requirements for motor vehicles, which may include motorized bicycles

304.285. Red light violations by motorcycles or bicycles, affirmative defense, when

This provision prohibits:

  • Improperly crossing an intersection at a red light on your bicycle

304.678. Distance to be maintained when overtaking a bicycle--violation, penalty

This provision prohibits:

  • Failing to leave a safe distance when overtaking a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on the roadway and, when passing the bicycle, failing to maintain clearance until safely past the overtaken bicycle

307.183. Brakes Required

This provision requires:

  • Every bicycle and motorized bicycle to be “equipped with a brake or brakes which will enable its driver to stop the bicycle or motorized bicycle within twenty-five feet from a speed of ten miles per hour on dry, level, clean pavement.”

307.185. Lights and Reflectors, when Required—Standards to be Met

This provision requires:

  • Every bicycle and motorized bicycle ridden on a “street or highway during the period from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise” to be equipped with proper lights and reflectors.

This includes:

(1) A front-facing lamp on the front or carried by the rider which shall emit a white light visible at night under normal atmospheric conditions on a straight, level, unlighted roadway at five hundred feet;

(2) A rear-facing red reflector, at least two square inches in reflective surface area, or a rear-facing red lamp, on the rear which shall be visible at night under normal atmospheric conditions on a straight, level, unlighted roadway when viewed by a vehicle driver under the lower beams of vehicle headlights at six hundred feet;

(3) Reflective material and/or lights on any part of the bicyclist's pedals, crank arms, shoes or lower leg, visible from the front and the rear at night under normal atmospheric conditions on a straight, level, unlighted roadway when viewed by a vehicle driver under the lawful lower beams of vehicle headlights at two hundred feet; and

(4) Reflective material and/or lights visible on each side of the bicycle or bicyclist and visible at night under normal atmospheric conditions on a straight, level, unlighted roadway when viewed by a vehicle driver under the lawful lower beams of vehicle headlights at three hundred feet. The provisions of this subdivision shall not apply to motorized bicycles which comply with National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration regulations relating to reflectors on motorized bicycles.

307.188. Rights and Duties of Bicycle and Motorized Bicycle Riders

This provision provides that:

  • “Every person riding a bicycle or motorized bicycle upon a street or highway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a [motor] vehicle,” with designated exceptions

307.190. Riding to Right, Required for Bicycles and Motorized Bicycles

This provision requires:

  • Riding your bicycle near the right side of the road when riding at less than the posted speed or slower than the flow of traffic

307.191. Bicycle to Operate on the Shoulder Adjacent to Roadway, when—Roadway Defined

This provision requires

  • Riding your bicycle on the road, or the shoulder of the road, in the same direction as vehicles are required to drive on the road

307.192. Bicycle Required to Give Hand or Mechanical Signals

This provision requires:

  • Giving proper hand or mechanical signals when riding a bicycle

307.193. Penalty for Violation

This provision provides that:

  • Any person who is 17 years of age or older and is convicted of any of these provisions shall pay a fine between $25 and $500.
  • Any violation is not considered a criminal offense.
  • Any person who is under 17 years of age and violates any of these provisions in the presence of a police officer may have their bicycle or motorized bicycle impounded for up to five days

If You Violate the Bicycle Laws of Missouri, You Will Need a Bike Accident Lawyer

If you violate any of the bicycle laws of Missouri, whether as a driver of a motor vehicle or the rider of a bicycle or motorized bicycle, and you are at fault for causing an accident in which you or someone else is injured, you could be liable for significant damages or seriously jeopardize your ability to be compensated for your injuries.

If you are involved in any kind of accident involving a bicycle, contact the bike accident lawyers at Foster Wallace right away. Don’t let the technicalities of the bicycle laws affect whether you are compensated for serious injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence.

Michael Foster
Kansas City Personal Injury Attorney