Norwegian bicycle rules

Cycling on the road

When you are cycling on the road, you have the same rights and obligations as the motorized traffic, including giving way to traffic from the right, to pedestrians on zebra crossings etc. You should make yourself clearly visible, with reflective equipment on your bike and your clothing, and with bike lights.

Keep sufficient distance from the kerb or the roadside ditch, so that passing cars will need to make a genuine overtaking manoeuvre. Pay attention to parked cars, whose doors may open as you pass. It is best to keep a sufficient distance from parked cars. Give way to other traffic in situations where drivers are obliged to do so. Make room for pedestrians who are crossing the road at a zebra crossing.

Cycling on pedestrian and cycle paths

While on pedestrian and cycle paths, cyclists must seek to ensure the best possible interaction with other road users. Cycle paths and combined pedestrian/cycle paths are physically separated from the driving lane by a minimum barrier.

When you are cycling on a pedestrian/cycle path that crosses a road, you as a cyclist must give way to all other motorized traffic (except on exits). This applies also when the cycle path you are on runs alongside a priority road. Most often, shared pedestrian/cycle paths are intended for two-way traffic. Unless there are many people walking on these paths, you should choose to ride there, rather than in the driving lane.

Cycling on pavements

Pavements (including pedestrianized streets and squares) are primarily for pedestrians. You may cycle on the pavement when there are few walkers there, and your cycling is not a hazard or an obstacle to them. You should pass those who are walking at a safe distance and at near walking speed. You may not use your bicycle bell to request pedestrians to let you through.

If you as a cyclist come from the pavement and want to enter or cross the driving lane, you must invariably give way to other road users. Cars making a right turn are no longer obligated to give way to cyclists coming from the pavement.

Cycling on zebra crossings

You may cycle over a zebra crossing, but motorists are not obligated to give way to you. To achieve the same rights as pedestrians, i.e. so that cars must give way and stop for you at the zebra crossing, you have to dismount from your bike and wheel it.

Cycling in bicycle lanes

If you are cycling in a bicycle lane, i.e. a lane for cyclists separated from the driving lane by a white line, you may only ride on the right side of the road. The rule on giving way to traffic coming from the right applies, unless traffic signs indicate otherwise.

When you are in a bicycle lane, cars must give way to you when they are making a right turn, in contrast to the rule for those cycling on pedestrian/cycle paths or on the pavement.

Cycling at intersections

Most serious cycling accidents happen at intersections. Therefore, it is crucial for cyclists to pay extra attention here. You should make sure that you are seen by other road users, and that you indicate clearly what you intend to do.

In front of the intersection you may pass the cars on the inside. Make sure, however, that the motorist has seen you and does not make a sudden right turn! You should also watch out for oncoming cars which are making a left turn. Make sure that they have seen you and give way to you.

If you want to make a left turn, you should change to the left lane well ahead of the intersection. Cycle so as to prevent cars continuing ahead from overtaking you on the left side. Give way to oncoming traffic.

Cycling at roundabouts

The road traffic legislation has no specific rules for cycling at roundabouts. As a cyclist, you should be especially alert and make sure that you are well visible and not hidden behind other vehicles. Stay in the middle of your lane when approaching and when on the roundabout. Make a clear sign to the right when you are about to leave the roundabout. You should not cycle along the right edge of the roundabout, since motorists will not be aware of you there.

You may cycle on the pavement encircling the roundabout and cross the streets one by one. If so, you must be especially alert to cars leaving the roundabout. To achieve the same rights as pedestrians you have to dismount from your bike and wheel it. If you remain on your bike, you must give way to other vehicles when you are coming from the pavement.

Cycling prohibited

Cycling is prohibited on motorways, on ramps leading onto motorways and in some tunnels. The “Tunnel Guide for Cyclists” (1997), issued by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, lists the tunnels on the public road network that are off-limits to cyclists. You can order the guide from Norwegian Traffic Information, tel. 02030 (from abroad: +47 915 02 030). For more information, see also Map of Norwegian Tunnels.

Published 28. January 2016 - 13:49 - Updated 26. April 2018 - 8:42

Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)

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