Most people fail to realize there are laws pertaining to riding a bicycle on public roadways. Law enforcement officers can give you a citation if you break these laws.
Before riding your bike, you should know and understand the law. You also should teach your children the rules to ensure they ride safely. The basic rule for bicycles, according to the Office of the Revisor of Statutes, is that all laws pertaining to vehicles also apply to bicycles. For example, you must stop at all red lights and stop signs just as you would if you were driving a car.
Most of the bicycle-specific laws are to help ensure your safety. For example, you cannot grab onto a moving vehicle or have more than one person on a bike not designed for multiple riders. Other rules include that you must ride close to the right side of the road along with the flow of traffic. Never ride against traffic and stay out of the middle of the lane. The only exception is if you will turn left when you should move to the left part of the lane.
You cannot carry anything in your hands when on your bike if it would make it difficult to operate your brakes or keep at least one hand on the handlebars. Another rule is you must have working lights on your bike if you wish to ride after dark.
Other rules will help protect everyone around you. For example, you can ride your bike on a sidewalk except in a business district. If you choose to ride here, you must give an audible signal to pedestrians before passing them. Do not some jurisdictions will prohibit bicycles on sidewalks, and these laws supersede the general allowance.
Finally, you also must use hand signals when making turns and when stopping. If you install brake lights and turning signals, then you must use those.
All of these laws seek to keep you safe and ensure you can co-exist with vehicles on the road without disrupting traffic.