Driving a vehicle is more than fun as you’ve got a responsibility for the safety of the people on the road, the ones who are in your car, and yourself. For that reason, the state government has created certain rules and regulations to cover each aspect of riding including the back racks we use for bike commutation.
In ignorance of laws, you’ll get a penalty or ticket so learning the bike rack legal requirements – bike laws by state is not an option; it is mandatory.
Bike Rack Legal Requirements – Detailed Guide
The bike rack is a valuable and practically beneficial product widely used for hanging your bikes and transporting them from one region to another. When you’re planning an off-road trip, mountain biking, and other adventurous tours, you must take a bike or cycle along with you to explore hidden yet mesmerizing spaces on earth. The bike racks are extensively used in the United States and around the globe for their application.
In the context of structure, the bike rack looks like a tray or carrier that holds your cycle efficiently and ensures maximum safety and stability. You can also use it for carrying luggage, kayaks, and other necessities without any hassle.
When not in use, the bike racks fold up to be placed in compact spaces easily, so all in all, the bike rack is an innovative and super friendly product that provides convenience, comfort, security, and versatility to commuting.
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The laws and regulations are made to ensure the utmost protection and safety of humans. If we are talking about bike racks, they do possess some legal issues which are why states have cleared their specific laws and regulations to reduce those risks to zero. Again, that too for security purposes. Let’s look at some common legal problems linked with the bike racks for a better understanding:
All good! Bike racks are quite useful for travelers, but there are some legal issues associated with biking racks. Most commonly the bike rack can fall if not tightened properly on your vehicle which will induce the risk of accidents for the car at your back.
The second common legal problem is bike rack blocking license plates. The bike racks are mounted on the back of your vehicle so there are chances that the rack will hide the license plate and so is your identity which is illegal according to state laws by the government.
The other issues are that bike racks hide the backlights of the car which can cause hindrance and increase the accidents risks. This is because the backlights make the car visible to the vehicles behind it. In addition, some bike racks are heightened beyond the limit which can be threatening because the tall rack might collapse with the banners or traffic signals during the ride.
To reduce these legal issues, the state has created bike rack legal requirements. So, to use the bike rack you must be aware of those restrictions to be on the safe side. Otherwise, you’ll be charged with penalties or tickets.
How to legally commute with bike rack?
Make sure that the bike rack is up to the legal requirements of the state in terms of height and stability. As I discussed above, the bike rack is meant to be mounted on the back so you have to ensure that it is not hiding any details like backlights, number plate, or license plate.
Please avoid riding at night with bike racks on your vehicle to be on the safe side, unless there is an emergency. Whenever you see a car behind you, slow down gradually and avoid overtaking. You can also have a look at best swing out bike racks.
FAQs about Bike Rack Laws
How far out can a bike rack be?
This is an important question to ask because an extra-heightened rack will lead to destruction as it may collapse with banners, signals, or more. In general, the standard spacing for a bike rack is four feet maximum and three feet minimum, so you must find a product in between. However, I have also seen some racks with 2 feet of edge so that will be the safest one.
Can I drive on the highway with a bike rack?
Yes, you can drive a vehicle with a bike rack on the highways unless you follow highway regulations for speed. The maximum speed limit for bike rack vehicles is 80 mph, so you must consider this to avoid challan. In my opinion, speeding also depends on the vehicle’s horsepower and the region where you’re driving, thus, it is suggested to keep an eye on the state laws of your area.
Do you need an extra number plate for the bike rack?
The bike rack is designed to be mounted at the back of your vehicle, usually to the hitch carrier. So, it is possible to hide the number plate of your car. For that reason, you’ll need an extra number plate that is visible to the authorities. On the other hand, some latest bike racks come with a tilted design and will not hide the number plate of your car, so in that case, there is no need to mount an extra plate.
Concluding Bike Rack Laws Guide
A bike rack is a useful vehicle accessory that can be used for transporting cycles, luggage, kayaks, or of course bikes. You’ll make your trips more adventurous and exploring by taking bikes along with you but make sure to consider the legal requirements first. For that reason, I have added a quick guide to the legislation and ways to ride with a bike rack in this article.
Hi, This is Catharine Pendrel, a professional cyclist and founder of Bikeoure. I have been riding bikes for more than 23 years and writing about cycling and other outdoor magazines for about 5 years. Mountain biking has been my passion ever since I first came across it a decade ago. I participated in various MTB tournaments and won numerous mountain trail races.
I started Bikeoure to share my expertise and cycling experience with cyclists all around the world to make them addicted to cycling. My cycling and solo traveling expertise help new cyclists find the best and latest gear in the market for their cycling adventures.