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Full Use of Lane for Cyclists in Texas

Cyclists are considered vehicles and are allowed full use of a traffic lane. Riding to the far right where there is inadequate room for a vehicle or where debris or other dangerous conditions exist is not necessary. Cyclists are more likely to be seen in the center of a lane. Also, cyclists using the full lane are less likely to be hit when a larger vehicle attempts to pass on the left. Many crashes between autos, trucks, and cyclists occur when the motor vehicle attempts to pass the cyclist and clips the cyclist with a bumper or mirror. If there is no bike lane and it is perceived to be too dangerous to ride in the far right of the lane, you can use the full lane. See Texas Transportation Code Section 551.103 which states:

Sec. 551.103. OPERATION ON ROADWAY. (a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a person operating a bicycle on a roadway who is moving slower than the other traffic on the roadway shall ride as near as practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway, unless:

(1) the person is passing another vehicle moving in the same direction;

(2) the person is preparing to turn left at an intersection or onto a private road or driveway;

(3) a condition on or of the roadway, including a fixed or moving object, parked or moving vehicle, pedestrian, animal, or surface hazard prevents the person from safely riding next to the right curb or edge of the roadway; or

(4) the person is operating a bicycle in an outside lane that is:

(A) less than 14 feet in width and does not have a designated bicycle lane adjacent to that lane; or

(B) too narrow for a bicycle and a motor vehicle to safely travel side by side.

(b) A person operating a bicycle on a one-way roadway with two or more marked traffic lanes may ride as near as practicable to the left curb or edge of the roadway.

(c) Persons operating bicycles on a roadway may ride two abreast. Persons riding two abreast on a laned roadway shall ride in a single lane. Persons riding two abreast may not impede the normal and reasonable flow of traffic on the roadway. Persons may not ride more than two abreast unless they are riding on a part of a roadway set aside for the exclusive operation of bicycles.

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