Legally reviewed by:
King Law
May 16, 2024

Running and biking: both great sources of exercise, community building, and good old-fashioned fun. But, as with anything, fun can take a dangerous turn seemingly at any moment. To keep yourself safe, as well as others in your community, feel free to take the time to read through the following compilation of North Carolina General Statutes that relate to running and biking. 

Key Statutes Related to Running in North Carolina

In North Carolina, there are no specific statutes that solely pertain to runners. However, several general statutes and regulations related to pedestrians and traffic safety apply to runners as well. Here are some relevant statutes to consider:

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-174: This statute defines the rights and duties of pedestrians (including runners) on roadways. It outlines that pedestrians should obey traffic signals, use crosswalks when available, and yield the right of way to vehicles when crossing outside a marked crosswalk.

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-173: This statute addresses pedestrians’ use of sidewalks. It states that pedestrians (including runners) should use sidewalks where available and, if there is no sidewalk, walk on the left side of the roadway facing oncoming traffic.

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-174.1: This statute deals with pedestrians’ right of way at marked and unmarked crosswalks. It provides that drivers should yield to pedestrians (including runners) who are within or approaching a crosswalk.

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-176: This statute specifies the duties of pedestrians (including runners) when walking along highways without sidewalks. It says that pedestrians should walk on the left side of the roadway, facing oncoming traffic, to ensure their safety and visibility to drivers.

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-172: This statute covers the prohibition of walking on controlled-access highways or interstate highways where pedestrians (including runners) are not allowed.

It’s important to note that these statutes are not specific to runners but rather apply to pedestrians in general. Runners should also follow common-sense safety practices, such as wearing reflective gear, using caution when crossing roads, and being aware of their surroundings. For comprehensive and up-to-date information on North Carolina statutes, it’s advisable to consult the official North Carolina General Statutes or consult with a legal professional familiar with the state’s laws, like many of our attorneys experienced in civil litigation.

Key Statutes Related to Biking in North Carolina

In North Carolina, unlike runners, there are several important statutes related specifically to bikers that you should be aware of before going out for a bike ride. Here are some key ones:

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-4.01(49): This statute defines bicycles as vehicles, granting cyclists the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of motor vehicles, except where specific laws apply.

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-146: This statute establishes that bicycles are allowed on public roads, and riders must follow the same traffic laws as motorists. It also requires cyclists to ride as far to the right side of the road as practicable, except when making left turns, avoiding hazards, or when the lane is too narrow to share safely with a motor vehicle.

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-150: This statute outlines the requirement for bicycles to be equipped with specific equipment, including a front lamp emitting white light visible from a distance of at least 300 feet, a rear reflector visible from 200 feet, and a brake system.

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-171.4: This statute addresses the issue of bicycle helmets for riders under the age of 16. It mandates that children and young teenagers must wear an approved helmet while operating or riding a bicycle.

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-173: This statute prohibits riding bicycles on sidewalks in business districts. However, local municipalities may have their regulations regarding sidewalk cycling, so it’s essential to be aware of specific city or county ordinances.

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-176: This statute covers the “Safe Passing Law” in North Carolina. It requires motorists to maintain a minimum of 4 feet of distance when passing a cyclist. If it’s not safe to provide this distance due to road conditions, the motorist must slow down and pass when it is safe to do so.

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-137.4A: This statute addresses the use of electric scooters and bicycles (e-bikes) in North Carolina. It defines e-bikes and establishes specific requirements for their operation, such as maximum speeds and permissible power output.

It’s important to note that while these statutes provide a general overview of biking laws in North Carolina, there might be additional local ordinances and regulations in specific cities or counties that cyclists should also be aware of. It’s advisable to check with local authorities or transportation departments for any additional regulations that may apply to your area. One of our experienced civil litigation attorneys at King Law could also be of assistance, especially in the unfortunate event that there is an accident. 

King Law is Here to Help

As is the case with any legal action, things that may seem straightforward at first glance can become very complicated before you know it. The last thing that anyone expects when getting out the door for a run or bike ride is to be involved in an accident. While you stay safe and never have to use our services, the experienced civil litigation attorneys at King Law understand your stress and are dedicated to supporting you through any challenging ordeal. Our attorneys are proud to serve their clients in North Carolina and South Carolina and help them achieve favorable outcomes for their cases. Our award-winning team has a proven track record of success and is committed to protecting your rights and delivering the best possible results. To learn more about how our legal experts can help you, give us a call at (888) 748-5464 (KING) or fill out our contact form today.

Legally reviewed by:
King Law
Carolina Attorneys
May 16, 2024

This blog post has been reviewed and verified by legal experts at King Law. Our team is dedicated to providing premium legal services with compassion, innovation, trust, and advocacy. Serving Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina, we offer flexible meeting options and strive to exceed client expectations with high-quality legal representation and exceptional client relationships.

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