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Laws.

Find your Senator and District

As we advocate for safer bicycling laws in Nebraska, it’s important that you know who your state senator is and contact them.

Not sure who represents you? Click here to search via your home address.

Know your senator but just need their contact info? Click here for the list. 

Full list of senator contact info: Senators emails ’16 (Scroll to bottom to find a cut/paste friendly list of all senators. Please remember to list them as a blind carbon copy as a courtesy.)

Nebraska Bike Laws
All laws mentioned below were current as of August 2012 and may be subject to change.

Safe Passing Laws
Nebraska requires that the driver of a vehicle overtaking a bicycle proceeding in the same direction shall exercise due care, which shall include, but not be limited to, leaving a safe distance of no less than three feet clearance, when passing a bicycle and shall maintain such clearance until safely past the overtaken bicycle.
Source: Neb. Rev. Stat. §60-6,133

Helmet Law
Nebraska has no helmet law. It is legal for all persons of any age to operate a bicycle without wearing a helmet unless otherwise provided by a municipal regulation.
Source: N/A

Equipment and Lighting

(1) When in use at nighttime, a bicycle shall be equipped with a light visible from a distance of at least five hundred feet to the front on a clear night and with a red reflector on the rear of a type which is approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles or a local authority and which is visible on a clear night from all distances between one hundred feet and six hundred feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful lower beams of headlights on a motor vehicle. A red light visible from a distance of five hundred feet to the rear may be used in addition to such red reflector.

(2) Any bicycle used on a highway shall be equipped with a brake or brakes which will enable the operator to stop the bicycle within twenty-five feet of the point of braking when moving at a speed of ten miles per hour on dry, level, clean pavement.

Source: Neb. Rev. Statute §§60-6,318

Distracted Driving Laws
Nebraska currently has the following laws aimed at distracted driving, subject to limited exceptions:

  • No person shall use a handheld wireless communication device to read a written communication, manually type a written communication, or send a written communication while operating a motor vehicle which is in motion;
  • The holder of an LPE-learner’s permit shall not use any type of interactive wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle on the highways of this state; and
  • No operator of a commercial motor vehicle shall engage in texting while driving.

Source: Neb. Rev. Stat. §§60-6,179.01; 60-6,179.02; 60-4,124(5)(b)

Where to Ride
Nebraska requires that any bicyclist upon a roadway, traveling at a speed less than the speed of traffic, must ride as near to the right-hand curb or right-hand edge of the roadway as practicable except any of the following circumstances:

  • When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction;
  • When preparing for a left turn onto a private road or driveway or at an intersection;
  • When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or right-hand edge of the roadway, including fixed or moving objects, stopped or moving vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, or surface hazards;
  • When riding upon a lane of substandard width which is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane;
  • When lawfully operating a bicycle on the paved shoulders of a highway included in the state highway system; or
  • When operating a bicycle upon a roadway on which traffic is restricted to one direction of movement and which has two or more marked traffic lanes, in which case a bicyclist may ride as near to the left-hand curb or left-hand edge of the roadway as practicable.

Source: Neb. Rev. Stat. §60-6,317

Sidewalk Riding
Nebraska does not have a statute that specifically authorizes or prohibits the operation of a bicycle upon a sidewalk.
Some cities have specific areas (usually in downtown districts) where bicycling on sidewalks is prohibited. Please check local ordinances for details.

Bicycling Under the Influence
Nebraska’s law prohibiting driving while under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances is written so that it applies to motor vehicles and therefore does not directly apply to bicyclists. Nevertheless bicycles should not be operated while intoxicated.
Source: Neb. Rev. Stat. §60-6,196

Authorization for Local Regulation of Bicycles
Nebraska provides that a local authority may by ordinance regulate the operation of bicycles and may provide for the registration and inspection of bicycles.
Source: Neb. Rev. Stat. §60-6,317(4)

Dooring Law
Nebraska requires that no person open the door of a motor vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so and it can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic. In addition, no person shall leave a door open on the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload property or passengers.
Source: Neb. Rev. Stat. §60-6,180

Treatment as a Vehicle
In Nebraska bicycles are not vehicles according to the statute that defines vehicles, but a person riding a bicycle has all of the rights and duties of the driver of a vehicle under Nebraska’s Rules of the Road, except as to those provisions which by their nature can have no application.
Source: Neb. Rev. Stat. §§60-339; 60-6,314

Source of Laws
The laws regulating the operation of bicycles in the state of Nebraska are generally found in Chapter 60 of the Nebraska Revised Statutes (Neb. Rev. Stat.), available here http://nebraskalegislature.gov/laws/laws.php.

Other Resources
The following resources may be useful:

  • Nebraska Department of Roads Bicycle Safety pamphlet: http://www.nebraskatransportation.org/docs/Bicycle-Safety-current.pdf
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln Bike Law resources: http://bike.unl.edu/local-and-state-bike-links

 

NOTE: The laws listed here are for informational purposes only. The legal information on this website is not a substitute for the primary sources of law in your jurisdiction or the personalized advice of an attorney. The Nebraska Bicycling Alliance is not responsible for any exclusions, omissions, deletions, or changes of relevant laws. If you have questions or concerns regarding your state or local laws, consult those primary sources or an attorney.