Italian bicycle safety rules, while similar to many countries, are generally considered strict. Italy has many specific laws garnering bicycle use, such as one law reported by Eric Coufal that outlaws the use of an umbrella while cycling. Becoming familiar with the many intricate laws of Italian cycling would require much time spent in Italy with an Italian translator, but you can easily understand the broad strokes of Italian cycling law. Italian bicycle law violations can result in steep fines for the cyclist.
According to Edwin Seldenthuis, a noted European bicycle tourist from Holland, on his Cycling Passes and Climbs of Europe website, "Cycling is forbidden on the motorways (Autostrade) and the 'Strade Extraurbane Principali'" roads in Italy. This greatly limits the roadways a cyclist may traverse and keeps cyclists from busy car-clogged intercity roadways and on smaller local roads and paths.
Lights and Reflectors
Seldenthuis reports that Italian law requires a yellow or white front light and red rear electric light system mounted on every bicycle. Bicycles must also have a rear reflector, pedal reflectors on both sides of the pedal and wheel reflectors mounted to comply with Italian road rules.
Left Turns with Traffic Lights
When a traffic light is present at an Italian intersection, according to Seldenthuis, a cyclist must follow the pedestrian crosswalk to make a left turn. Cyclists must either ride or dismount and walk bicycles along the pedestrian crosswalks of both roads before continuing down the intended road.
Left Turns Without Traffic Lights
Seldenthuis states that when a traffic light is not present at an Italian intersection, left turns are made with traffic. No use of the crosswalk is necessary when turning without traffic lights.
Obligatory Cycle Paths
Italy makes the use of bicycle lanes and paths obligatory, according to Seldenthuis. This means if a bicycle lane or path is available, and a cyclist shuns the path in favor of the roadway, she is breaking Italian law and subject to a fine.
- Photo Credit italy image by Hubert from Fotolia.com
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