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Arkansas State Outline



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Image Arkansas State Flag

(Arkansas State Flag)





Total Traffic




Percentage of Total Traffic Fatalities


Pedalcyclist Fatalities per Million Population



Arkansas law does not specifically define a bicycle as a vehicle. In fact, the definition of “vehicle” appears in a section of the Arkansas Code, Annotated titled “Motor Vehicular Traffic” (Title 27, Subtitle 4), so bicycles aren’t included in the definitions. A.C.A. § 27-49-111 contains the lan- guage from the Uniform Vehicle Code which reads, “Every person riding a bicycle or an animal, or driving any animal drawing a vehicle upon a highway, shall have all the rights and all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle, except those provisions of this act which by their nature can have no applicability” so as to include cyclists as legitimate and rightful users of the public streets and highways. The specific statutes pertaining to bicycles are found in the Arkansas Code of 1987, Annotated, (“A.C.A.”) Title 27, chapters 49 through 111. Cyclists may use any public road, street, or highway in Arkansas with the exception of the freeways and other controlled-access highways.

You may ride your bicycle on the sidewalks in Arkansas, except in specific cities which have enacted local ordinances that prohibit riding on the sidewalks in the business districts (Little Rock, North Little Rock, Hot Springs, and Maumelle prohibit, directly or indirectly (NLR) cyclists from riding on the sidewalks. LR, Hot Springs, Conway, Maumelle, Fayetteville, and Fort Smith directly prohibit riding on the sidewalks in the business district, NLR indirectly prohibits bikes from all city sidewalks.)

Riding on the streets and public roads in Arkansas generally falls into six general principles in order to comply with state and local law:

1) Drive on the right side of the roadway; never on the left, and never on the sidewalk;
2) Obey all traffic signals and traffic control devices;
3) When you reach a more important or larger road than you are on, yield to crossing traffic;
4) When you intend to change lanes or move laterally on the road- way, yield to traffic in the new lane or line of travel;
5) When approaching an intersection, position yourself with re- spect to the direction of your destination; and
6) Between intersections, position yourself according to your speed relative to other traffic. Bicyclists are required to signal like other vehicles pursuant to A.C.A. § 27- 51-403, but not continuously if they need both hands for safety (A.C.A. § 27-49-111).

When riding at night, Arkansas law (A.C.A. § 27-36-220) requires that you have a white headlight on the front of your bike, and a red tail light on the rear – both visible from at least 500 feet away. You may substitute a red reflector on the rear provided that it is still visible from at least 500 feet away when illuminated. The white and red reflectors that come on your bike from the sporting goods store or bike shop are insufficient; state law requires that you have active lighting systems when riding at night (re- flectors are passive.)

Arkansas does not require either children or adults to wear a bicycle helmet when riding. Little Rock and Fayetteville city ordinances additionally require that a bicycle be equipped with a bell or other device for warning pedestrians, and that it have a brake capable of making the braked wheel skid on dry, level pavement.

Additional information (aimed exclusively at motorists) is found in the Arkansas Driver’s License Study Guide ( driver_services/ds_documents.html), not all of which is covered under Title 27 of the Arkansas Code of 1987.

Summary of Major Violations for Bicyclists in Arkansas:

• Failure to operate on right half of road: A.C.A. § 27-51-301
• Riding wrong way on one-way street: A.C.A. § 27-51-304 (Class C misdemeanor)
• Moving across roadway without yielding: A.C.A. § 27-51-403 (a)
• Entering intersection on red signal: A.C.A. § 27-52-107.
• Failure to yield the right of way at stop or yield sign: A.C.A. § 27-51-503, § 27-51-601
• Failure to yield the right of way before entering roadway: A.C.A. § 27-51-603
• Failure to use head light: A.C.A. § 27-36-220(a)
• Failure to use rear light or reflector: A.C.A. § 27-36-220(a) and (b)
• Failure to yield to pedestrians in crosswalk not controlled by traffic signals: A.C.A. § 27-51-1202
• Driving while intoxicated: Applicable only to motor vehicles. (You can’t get a DWI or DUI on a bicycle in Arkansas, however you may still be cited for “public drunkenness.”) Summary of Major Violations for Motorists in Arkansas:
• Failure to make right turn from rightmost part of roadway: A.C.A. § 27-51-401 (1)
• Failure to yield when turning left: A.C.A. § 27-51-502
• Entering intersection on red signal: A.C.A. § 27-52-107.
• Failure to yield the right of way at stop or yield sign: A.C.A. § 27-51-503, § 27-51-601
• Failure to yield the right of way before entering roadway: A.C.A. § 27-51-603
• Failure to yield the right of way before starting from parked position: A.C.A. § 27-51-1308
• Unsafe distance when overtaking: A.C.A. § 27-51-306
• Unsafe distance (< 3 feet) when passing a cyclist: A.C.A. § 27- 51-311
• Unsafe place to overtake on left: A.C.A. § 27-51-307
• Unsafe overtaking on right: A.C.A. § 27-51-308
• Operating at unsafe speed: A.C.A. § 27-51-201
• Speeding in excess of 15 MPH over posted speed limit – Class C misdemeanor
• Opening door of motor vehicle when unsafe: A.C.A. § 27-51-1307
• Failure to yield to pedestrians in crosswalk not controlled by traffic signals: A.C.A. § 27-51-1202




  • Bike Accident Attorneys is a fantastic law firm dedicated to cyclists! Ben Dodge will go above and beyond to make sure everything you need is taken care of. He is one of the kindest and most honest people I've ever had the honor of knowing. In addition he is a cyclist just like us and knows our mindset and needs. I highly recommend contacting Ben before you do anything else if you are in the unfortunate circumstance of needing help if something happens to you on a ride.

    Charles B. Avatar
    Charles B.

    I was referred to Ben and his firm when I was hit by a car. Before I hired him as my attorney, Ben spent an enormous amount of time with me both answering my questions, as well as making sure I was comfortable with the process, timelines, and possible outcomes. Throughout the case I was given timely status reports and updates on the discussions from both sides. Not only was the service provided top notch, but Ben himself is a pleasure to work with. If this is ever something you find yourself in need of, there is no better place to go than BAA.

    Brian S. Avatar
    Brian S.

    Unfortunately 1 year ago I was in a very bad bicycle accident and also took out some of my fellow riders. Fortunately though Ben from Bike Accident Attorneys was on that same bike ride and what a blessing that was for me and those that were also involved. Him and his staff were amazing and so helpful with everything. He was a tremendous help and the greatest thing was not only was I represented professionally, but I gained a close friend and riding teammate. Thank you Ben and to your wonderful staff!

    Kristi R. Avatar
    Kristi R.