Traffic rules for cyclists
When you ride a bicycle, you count as driving a vehicle. This means that you must know and comply with the traffic rules that apply where you are cycling.
Since pedal bikes, electric bikes, electric scooters and other small electric vehicles are defined as vehicles, you must basically follow the same rules as other drivers when using these.
Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act forms the basis for the traffic rules, and its purpose is to ensure that everyone should be as safe as possible on our roads, whether they walk, cycle or drive. This means that you have a personal responsibility to ensure that your behaviour in traffic does not create dangerous and difficult situations for other road users.
Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act says that “Any person shall travel showing consideration, and being alert and cautious so that no damage or risk is caused, and so that other traffic is not unnecessarily obstructed or inconvenienced. Road users shall also show consideration for those who live or spend time along the road."
This means that you must be considerate, watchful and careful when you travel by road.
Passengers on bicycles
You are allowed to carry passengers on a bike, but there are limitations in terms of age as well number:
- You can transport up to two children under the age of six, or one child under the age of 10, on a bicycle. If you also use a trailer, you can only transport one child under the age of 10 on the bike itself.
- In a bicycle trailer, you can transport up to two children under the age of six or one child over the age of six. If you only have one child in a bicycle trailer, there is no age limit.
- The weight of the children and any other items in a bicycle trailer must not exceed the trailer's maximum payload, as specified by the manufacturer.
On small electric vehicles, such as electric scooters, passengers are not allowed. Nor is it allowed to have passengers in a trailer attached to the vehicle.
Where can you cycle?
You can basically cycle anywhere as long as you ride in the direction of traffic and follow the signs.
It is forbidden to cycle on motorways and on roads where bicycles are banned by sign, such as on some bridges and in many tunnels.
As a cyclist, you are less visible than cars and more exposed to accidents. Do not take risks!
Cycling in the road
You may ride your bicycle in the road together with cars. You must then follow the same traffic rules as other road users. This means, for example, that you
- must give way to traffic from the right
- must give way to pedestrians at pedestrian crossings
- must stop at red light
- must signal when you are turning
- must observe the speed limit
Cycling in the public transport lane
A public transport lane is a separate lane on the roadway. You may cycle in public transport lanes. If you ride a bicycle in the public transport lane, you must be careful to avoid the blind spot of the bus.
Cycling on pedestrian and cycle paths
These are facilities that are intended for both those who walk and those who cycle. Note that pedestrians may use both sides of the pedestrian and cycle path, while cyclists must ride on the right side.
Cycling in cycle lanes
Cycle lanes are separate lanes in the roadway marked with the cycle lane sign and road marking. You may only use the cycle lane on the right side of the road, i.e. it is not permitted to cycle in both directions in the same lane.
If you are in a cycle lane with separate traffic lights for bicycles, you must follow these. Traffic lights do not apply to you if you cycle on the pavement or on a pedestrian or cycle path.
It is not permitted to cycle in both directions in a cycle lane. Nor is it permitted to park or stop in a cycle lane.
Cycling on the pavement and on pedestrian paths
You may cycle on pedestrian paths and pavements if you do not obstruct or endanger pedestrians. If there are many people on the pavement, you must dismount and walk with your bicycle. If you are cycling past someone, make sure you adjust your speed and keep a safe distance.
Cycling across pedestrian crossings
You may cycle across a pedestrian crossing as long as you are considerate of those who are walking. When you cycle across the road at a pedestrian crossing, you are not considered a pedestrian, and other drivers are not required to give way to you.
Cycling in one-way streets
A one-way rule on streets and roads applies to all vehicle drivers, both cyclists and motorists. But in some streets the sign may have an additional panel showing that it is permitted to cycle in both directions. If you cycle in the opposite direction of cars in such streets, you need to be extra careful, because motorists often do not expect to meet oncoming bicycles.
A one-way rule is usually signalled by the “No entry” sign at the end where entry is prohibited, and by the "One-way traffic” sign at the end where entry is permitted. If cyclists are excepted, this is shown with the “sykkel unntatt (“Cycles excepted”) sign. If you cycle on the pavement, the one-way rule does not apply.
You may be issued an on-the-spot fine if you violate the traffic rules. If the violation is serious, you may be reported to the police. Fines and police reports are most often applied in connection with particularly dangerous behaviour.