Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Wisconsin, Land of the Cheeseheads
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I'm not sure even the police know the exact bike laws in most states! I got a photocopy of the main Wisconsin bike laws from the police dept in Seymour, and still had to go to the library to look up all the statutes that were referred to in the main articles. For instance, the main bike laws said you had to have a light and reflector to be on the highway after dark, but it wasn't until I made a 'side trip' in the statutes book that I discovered you were also required to have a bell or other sound warning device (air horns and sirens not allowed) to ride the highway at all.
I think in most cases, the basic rules are pretty much the same from state to state and nobody much will mess with you as long as you're riding safely...and most police I've met are reasonable guys who will warn you if you are doing something wrong. But it doesn't hurt to have an exact copy of the state bike laws with you, just in case you run into one of the bully-type cops who is just looking for a chance to make trouble for someone. After all, he can try to push you around based on what he thinks the law is, even if he isn't right. Paper proof could be handy some day.