South Carolina bicycle laws exist to protect both cyclists and drivers on the road. Many roadways now have designated bicycle lanes to ensure bicyclists stay safe while sharing the road with motor vehicles. These lanes prevent cars and trucks from crossing over in the paths of cyclists and enforce vehicles to yield to cyclists if they must. If these lanes are provided for use, cyclists must use them. They may only veer into the road with motor vehicles to pass other cyclists or avoid obstacles in the bike lane.
If a bicycle lane isn’t available, bicyclists must ride as far to the right in the lane as possible. They may ride on the shoulder of the road if it’s more comfortable for the rider, but they’re not required to do so. If the right-most lane is blocked, bicyclists may ride in another lane. Cyclists must use extreme caution when passing vehicles on the road.
Additional roadway rules for bicyclists:
- Bicyclists cannot ride more than 2 abreast
- The rider must remain seated on the seat of the bike
- The bicyclist cannot carry other people on his/her bike (if they’re caught doing this, they may face up to a $500 fine)
- Riders may not attach themselves to a vehicle
- Bicyclists cannot carry anything that requires the use of both hands while riding
- Cyclists must use proper hand signals to indicate turns and stops
- When riding at night, the bike must have a light on the front (visible from at least 500’ away) and a red reflector on the rear (visible from 50-300’ away)
South Carolina also has laws in place for drivers to help enforce cyclist safety:
- Motor vehicle drivers are required to drive at a safe distance from cyclists
- It’s illegal for drivers to yell or harass a person on a bike (such behaviour can result in a $250 fine or up to 30 days of imprisonment)