Annual Manual » Annual Manual: Critical Knowledge

Two-Wheeled Laws

Know your bike regs


Bicycling laws became a large point of interest after a string of bicyclists' deaths last year. Boise City Council responded to these incidents by making numerous changes in January to city bike laws.

According to City Code, motorists must give 3 feet of space when passing a bicycle, and those turning left shall yield the right of way to bicycles coming from the other direction. Motorist can't turn right in front of a cyclist at an intersection, alley or driveway if it means the cyclist has to brake or avoid a collision. Under a new cycling harassment ordinance, it is also now a misdemeanor for any motorist to intimidate or harass a person on a bike.

A bicyclist can ride on a sidewalk and within a crosswalk, except when prohibited by traffic signs or when it is unsafe. Bikers must also yield the right of way to any pedestrian. Riding carelessly can land a rider in prison for up to six months or stuck with a fine of up to $1,000. City Code also requires brakes on bikes.

A law unique to Idaho—the Idaho Stop Law—allows cyclists to treat stop signs like yield signs. A biker must slow at a stop sign before entering an intersection, after yielding the right of way to vehicles already there. At red lights, cyclists can proceed after stopping.