Laws & Ordinances

Bike Light Ordinances

The City of San Antonio has adopted a Bike Light Ordinance(PDF, 667KB). This ordinance is the same as State of Texas law requirements which require a front white light, and rear red reflector or red rear light. Not complying with the ordinance is a Class C Misdemeanor punishable up to a $200 fine.

Safe Passing Ordinance

The City of San Antonio has adopted a Safe Passing Ordinance(PDF, 171KB) which sets a requirement of safe passing by motor vehicles for vulnerable road users. It establishes a duty of due care and the requirement of a motor vehicle operator not to interfere with vulnerable users' legal use of the road. Safe passing distance is defined as 3 feet for cars and 6 feet for commercial or large trucks that only applies when road conditions allow. Violation of the ordinance is punishable as a Class C misdemeanor and fine not to exceed $200.

The ordinance provides the foundation for an education campaign of tolerance and acceptance for "active" forms of alternative transportation, which furthers the City's goals of promoting San Antonio as a Bicycle Friendly Community, as well as the enhancement of walkable streets and neighborhoods.

City Ordinance Sec. 19-286 does not allow bicycles to be ridden on sidewalks (except for law enforcement and emergency personnel).

Cyclists Must Obey the Law

Section 551.101 of the Texas Motor Vehicle Handbook states: "A person operating a bicycle has all the rights and duties applicable to a driver operating a vehicle..."

Selected Bicycle State Laws and Safety Tips(PDF, 62KB)

  • Obey all traffic signals and signs.
  • A person operating a bicycle slower than the flow of traffic must ride as near as practical to the right curb or edge of the roadway.
  • Riding against traffic (wrong-way) is illegal in all 50 states.
  • A bicyclist on a one-way roadway with tow or more traffic lanes may ride as near as practical to the left curb edge of a roadway.
  • Bicyclists may ride side by side so long as it does not prevent the reasonable flow of traffic.
  • Bicyclists riding side by side on a striped roadway must be in a single lane.
  • Bicyclists riding at night are required to equip their bicycles with a white light front lamp visible from at least 500 feet and a rear red reflector or red lamp visible from at least 500 feet.
  • A person may not use a bicycle to carry more persons than the bicycle is designed or equipped to carry.
  • Bicyclists must maintain at least one hand on the handlebar while operating the bicycle.
  • A bicycle in motion may not be attached to a streetcar or vehicle on a roadway.
  • Bike must be equipped with brakes.
  • Like a motor vehicle, bikes too must yield to pedestrians.

NOTE: In San Antonio, any violation of these laws is a Class C Misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $200.

Pedestrian Law

According to state law:

  • Pedestrians must yield to a vehicle on the roadway if crossing the street at a place other than a marked crosswalk or crossing. If you are hit while jaywalking, the driver may not be liable, and you may not be compensated for your injuries.
  • Pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks.
  • Stay on the right-hand side of crosswalks when crossing a roadway.
  • Stay on sidewalks where available.
  • On a road without sidewalks, walk on the left side facing traffic.