Rules of the Road

“Rules of the Road” for Bicyclists, From the Massachusetts General Laws:


Chapter 85, Section 11B


  • Ride on the right, with the flow of traffic
  • Ride single file
  • Stop at stop signs and traffic lights
  • Signal by hand for turns
  • Give the right of way to pedestrians
  • Give a clear warning (bell, hand, or voice) when needed for safety
  • Carry no passengers (except on approved baby seat)
  • Check your brakes often
  • Equip your bike with front and rear reflectors, pedal reflectors and reflective material on both sides and lights
  • Do not adjust handlebars above your shoulders or alter the front fork of bike
  • Do not ride on express or limited access highways
  • You may ride on the sidewalk outside of the business districts unless the city or town prohibits it
    • This is not prohibited in Chelmsford
  • Equip bike with white light in front, red light on rear
  • State law requires that all bicyclists 16 years of age or younger must wear approved helmet

“Rules of the Road” for pedestrians from the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles’ Driver’s Manual:


  • Use a crosswalk when available. When crossing at an intersection with a traffic signal, use the pedestrian button and wait for the WALK signal.
  • If the crossing signal flashes DON’T WALK, do not begin crossing. If the signal stops flashing and stays steady, you may not cross.
  • Before you cross a roadway, stop at the curb, look left, look right, and look left again for traffic – even if it is a one-way street.
  • If you must enter the street from between parked cars, stop and look before crossing.
  • You must use a sidewalk when one is available. When no sidewalk is available on a local roadway, you should walk on the shoulder facing traffic.
  • Never walk along or across expressways, interstate highways, or turnpikes.
  • Wear clothing with bright colors or reflective strips, especially at night.
  • Use a crosswalk when available. When crossing at an intersection with a traffic signal, use the pedestrian button and wait for the WALK signal.
  • If the crossing signal flashes DON’T WALK, do not begin crossing. If the signal stops flashing and stays steady, you may not cross.
  • Before you cross a roadway, stop at the curb, look left, look right, and look left again for traffic – even if it is a one-way street.
  • If you must enter the street from between parked cars, stop and look before crossing.
  • You must use a sidewalk when one is available. When no sidewalk is available on a local roadway, you should walk on the shoulder facing traffic.
  • Never walk along or across expressways, interstate highways, or turnpikes.
  • Wear clothing with bright colors or reflective strips, especially at night.