Dallas Bicycle Laws

CyclingSavvy instructors are not lawyers, so nothing on this site should be construed as legal advice. If you want real legal opinion, contact an attorney.

Thanks to Bicycle Austin for the inspiration for this page.

See our Texas Bicycle Laws page for non-Dallas specific laws.

Dallas specific law highlights:

The Dallas City Code is accessible via the American Legal Publishing Corporation website. Bicycle-specific codes are in Chapter 9. Traffic-specific codes are in Chapter 28, which is where the new Vulnerable Road Users section is codified.


SEC. 9-1. APPLICABILITY OF TRAFFIC REGULATIONS TO BICYCLE RIDERS.
Every person riding a bicycle upon the streets of the city shall be subject to provisions of all laws and ordinances applicable to the driver of any other vehicle, except those provisions of laws and ordinances which, by their very nature, can have no application; provided, however, it shall not be unlawful to ride a bicycle on a public sidewalk anywhere in the city outside of the central business district; said district being formed by the following street lines:

The south line of Young Street from Houston Street to Hawkins Street.
The west line of Hawkins Street from Young Street to Pacific Avenue.
The north line of Pacific Avenue from Hawkins Street to Pearl Street.
The east line of Pearl Street from Pacific Avenue to Ross Avenue.
The north line of Ross Avenue from Pearl Street to Austin Street.
The west line of Austin Street from Ross Avenue to Pacific Avenue.
The north line of Pacific Avenue from Austin Street to Houston Street.
The west line of Houston Street from Pacific Avenue to Young Street.

This provision which permits bicycles to be operated on public sidewalks is not meant to apply to any motor propelled vehicle of any type, but shall apply only to bicycles without motors. Any person riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian. (Ord. 13686)

SEC. 9-2. BICYCLES PROHIBITED IN PUBLIC BUILDINGS.
No person shall carry, push, propel or ride an assembled or operable bicycle in any public building in the city. (Ord. 13686)

SEC. 9-3. STUNT RIDING; RACING, ETC.
No rider of any bicycle shall remove both hands from the handle bars or feet from the pedals, or practice any acrobatic or stunt riding upon any street, nor shall any person operating a bicycle upon a street participate in any race for speed or any endurance contest. (Ord. 13686)

SEC. 9-4. REMOVAL, ETC., OF SERIAL NUMBERS ON BICYCLES; AUTHORIZING THE CHIEF OF POLICE TO CONFISCATE SAME.
It shall be unlawful for any person to willfully or maliciously remove, destroy, mutilate or alter the serial number on the frame of a bicycle. The chief of police is hereby authorized to confiscate any bicycle found to have a serial number on the frame which has been removed, altered or mutilated and he is further authorized to stamp new serial numbers on the frames of those bicycles on which no serial number can be found, or on which the number is illegible or insufficient for identification purposes. (Ord. 13686)

SEC. 9-5. RESPONSIBILITY OF PARENT OR GUARDIAN.
The parent of any child and the guardian of any ward shall not authorize or knowingly permit any such child or ward who would not be subject to prosecution in the municipal court to violate any of the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 13686)

SEC. 9-6. BICYCLES PROHIBITED ON ENUMERATED STREETS.
No person shall operate, ride, push, pull, or walk a bicycle on any of the following freeways or expressways:

STREET LIMITS
Central Expressway Live Oak north to city limits
Central Expressway Grand south to city limits
C. F. Hawn Freeway All portions within the city limits
John W. Carpenter Freeway All portions within the city limits
Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway All portions within the city limits
Marvin D. Love Freeway All portions within the city limits
R. L. Thornton Freeway All portions within the city limits
Stemmons Freeway All portions within the city limits
Walton Walker Boulevard All portions within the city limits
Interstate 345 All portions within the city limits
(Ord. 13875)

ARTICLE II. BICYCLE HELMETS.

SEC. 9-7. DEFINITIONS.
(a) In this article:

(1) DEALER means any commercial establishment that sells or leases new or used bicycles, whether as its principal business activity or in connection with the selling or leasing of other merchandise, from a place of business within the city.
(2) GUARDIAN means:

(A) a person who, under court order, is the guardian of the person of a minor; or
(B) a public or private agency with whom a minor has been placed by a court.

(3) HELMET means a properly-fitted bicycle helmet that:

(A) is not structurally damaged; and
(B) conforms to current standards of the American National Standards Institute, the American Society for Testing and Materials, the Snell Memorial Foundation, or any federal agency having regulatory jurisdiction over bicycle helmets.

(4) MINOR means any person under 17 years of age.
(5) PARENT means a person who is the natural parent, adoptive parent, or step-parent of another person.
(6) PUBLIC WAY means any property located within the city that is publicly owned or maintained, including but not limited to a publicly owned or maintained street, highway, alley, sidewalk, trail, or park facility.
(7) WEARING A HELMET means that a helmet is properly attached to a person’s head with the chin straps of the helmet securely fastened and tightened. (Ord. 22764, eff. 9/1/96)

SEC. 9-8. BICYCLE HELMET REQUIRED.

Note: As of June, 2014, this ordinance has been updated to only apply to minors. (See news report.)
(a)   A minor commits an offense if he operates or rides upon a bicycle or any side car, trailer, child carrier, seat, or other device attached to a bicycle without wearing a helmet.
(b)   A parent or guardian of a minor commits an offense if he knowingly causes or permits, or by insufficient control allows, the minor to operate or ride upon a bicycle or any side car, trailer, child carrier, seat, or other device attached to a bicycle, without the minor wearing a helmet.
(c)   A person commits an offense if he transports a minor upon a bicycle or any side car, trailer, child carrier, seat, or other device attached to a bicycle, without the minor wearing a helmet.
(d)   It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a), (b), or (c) that:

(1)   the bicycle was not being operated upon a public way at the time of the alleged offense; or
(2)   for a first offense only, the person owns or has acquired a helmet for himself or his passenger, whichever is applicable, prior to appearance in municipal court. (Ord. Nos. 22764; 29373)

 

SEC. 9-9. SALE OR LEASE OF BICYCLES.

(a) A dealer commits an offense if he sells a bicycle or any bicycle side car, trailer, or child carrier without having a sign conspicuously posted on the dealer’s premises, in the form, location, and manner approved by the chief of police, notifying all customers that it is a city ordinance violation to operate or ride upon a bicycle without a helmet.

(b) A dealer commits an offense if he leases a bicycle or any bicycle side car, trailer, or child carrier without:

(1) providing a helmet to each person who will operate or ride upon the bicycle or the bicycle side car, trailer, or child carrier; or
(2) determining through physical observation that a helmet is in the possession of each person who will operate or ride upon the bicycle or the bicycle side car, trailer, or child carrier. (Ord. 22764, eff. 9/1/96)

 

SEC. 9-10. PENALTY.
An offense under this article is punishable by a fine not to exceed:
(1) $10 for the first offense;
(2) $25 for the second offense; and
(3) $50 for the third and each subsequent offense. (Ord. 22764, eff. 9/1/96)


Division 5. Operation of Vehicles near Vulnerable Road Users.
SEC. 28-58.1. DEFINITION.
In this division, VULNERABLE ROAD USER means a person operating a bicycle, hand cycle, unicycle, or other human-powered wheeled vehicle on a street or highway. (Ord. 28870)

SEC. 28-58.2. PROTECTION OF VULNERABLE ROAD USERS.
(a) An operator of a motor vehicle and a vulnerable road user shall comply with all laws governing the operation of their respective vehicles on a street or highway.

(b) The operator of a motor vehicle commits an offense if, while passing a vulnerable road user on a street or highway, he:

(1) fails to entirely vacate the lane occupied by the vulnerable road user; or
(2) re-enters the lane occupied by the vulnerable road user before having passed the vulnerable road user at a safe distance.

(c) The operator or passenger of a motor vehicle commits an offense if he throws or projects any object or substance at or against a vulnerable road user.2

(d) The operator of a motor vehicle commits an offense if he overtakes a vulnerable road user traveling in the same direction and subsequently makes a right-hand turn in front of the vulnerable road user unless the operator is safely clear of the vulnerable road user, taking into account the speed at which the vulnerable road user is traveling and the braking requirements of the vehicle making the right-hand turn.

(e) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsections (b) and (d) that, at the time of the offense, the vulnerable road user was acting in violation of a city ordinance or state or federal law regulating the operation of the vulnerable road user’s vehicle on the street or highway

(f) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (b)(1) if the operator of the motor vehicle:

(1) was unable to move into an adjacent lane of the street or highway due to a physical barrier or obstruction or because the change of lanes would have violated a city ordinance or state or federal law; and
(2) passed the vulnerable road user at a safe speed and distance.

(g) An offense under this section is punishable by a fine not to exceed $300, except that, if the vulnerable road user sustained a bodily injury from the commission of the offense, the offense is punishable by a fine not to exceed $500. (Ord. 28870)

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