Bicyclists & Pedestrians
What is Maine's Law on Bicylists & Pedestrians
Maine’s motor vehicle “rules of the road” statutes address the rights and responsibilities of pedestrians (29-A MRS §2056), bicyclists (29-A MRS §2063), and, beginning September 19, 2019, electric bicyclists on public ways. For definitions of many of the terms in these statutes see 29-A MRS §101.
Drivers must yield to pedestrians “crossing within a marked crosswalk or to a pedestrian who has shown visible intent to enter the marked crosswalk.” According to 29-A MRS §2091-A, drivers must also "obey a hand signal or handheld traffic control device of a school crossing guard." At intersections that have traffic control devices (e.g. signs, signals), pedestrians must use marked crosswalks. Otherwise, pedestrians must yield to vehicles when crossing the road (unless they are within a marked crosswalk), and they may not “walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close that it is impossible for the operator to yield.” When passing a pedestrian walking on the road, a driver must leave at least 3 feet between the vehicle and the pedestrian; however, pedestrians may not walk on the road if using a sidewalk is “practicable.”
Bicyclists must observe many of the rules that apply to motor vehicle operators. They must yield to pedestrians in a marked crosswalk, obey traffic control devices, stop at stop signs, and observe the designated direction on one-way roads. Unless otherwise specified in 29-A MRS §2063, “A person operating a bicycle…upon a roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time and place shall operate on the right portion of the way as far as practicable…”
Effective September 19, 2019, Maine law has 3 classes of electric bikes based on their speed and manner of propulsion (see PL 2019, c. 349). Class 1 and Class 2 electric bikes “may be operated in any place where bicycles are permitted to travel…except that a municipality, local authority or governing body of a public agency that has jurisdiction over a bicycle path may prohibit the operation of a Class 1 electric bicycle or Class 2 electric bicycle on that bicycle path.” They may not be used on a bike path “designated for nonmotorized traffic if significant portions of the bicycle path have a natural surface, including gravel, stones or wooden bridging” unless otherwise permitted. Class 3 electric bikes may not be used on a bike path unless “it is within a highway or roadway or the bicycle path has been authorized for the operation of Class 3 electric bicycles.” Operators of Class 2 and Class 3 electric bikes must be at least 16-years-old.
7/10/2019 A-Z List