Laws and regulations 法律及條例

The following is a discussion of the ordinances (laws) and regulations of Hong Kong relating to bicycles. Like driving, there are certain fixed penalties including fines and jail time for careless and reckless cycling. Pedestrians generally have more freedom to move about as they are not considered vehicles, and there are apparently no rules or penalties against walking carelessly, though there are cases where such could be considered contributory negligence in the event of a collision.

A bicycle is classified as a vehicle under Hong Kong law and as such you are required to stop when asked by a uniformed police officer or traffic warden, or else face a HK$2000 fine. You must also obey traffic signs and have your HK ID card with you at all times.

Summary of laws and regulations

Various regulations covering cycling and bicycles stipulate that:

  • Cycling is not allowed in road tunnels.
  • You may not ride, carry or push a bicycle in any country park or ‘special area’, except on a designated cycling path, unless you are “ordinarily resident” in that area.
  • Where designated cycle paths are available, you may not ride on the road alongside.
  • Many bridges and underpasses have a sign indicating that bicycles and pedestrians may not pass the sign.  The sign has legal force, although there is no general law or regulation about cycling on bridges.
  • Bicycles may not be rented to unaccompanied children (under 11), who also may not control a multi-cycle unless accompanied by an adult. An exception is when rental is made for use only on designated cycle paths.
  • Any child (under 11) must be accompanied by an adult to ride a bicycle on any “road” (道路), which includes cycle tracks.
  • Every bike must have a bell, and no other warning system is allowed (such as a horn or perhaps even a loud shout!).
  • When ridden at night (or in low light conditions), a bicycle must be fitted with a white light at front and a red light at the back.
  • A rear-facing reflector is required, apparently at any time. It should be at least 40 mm diameter or equivalent.
  • A brake must be fitted to any bicycle, tricycle, or multicycle wheel larger than 460 mm.
  • Passengers may not be carried, except children under 3 years, in a “properly fitted seat” (Cap 374G Regs 51 and 53) *in a recent case, the judge said that the regulation (53) has priority over regulation (51) that explains how to count the number of people allowed on a bicycle and regulation (51) is clear and forbids any person what ever their age.
  • On a bike, you may not transport dangerous goods [Cat. 5] (i.e. flammable substances) other than two 20-litre tins of kerosene.
  • Cycling while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can result in a fine the first time, and up to three months imprisonment for a repeated offence.
  • Electric bicycles and bikes fitted with add-on motors are considered illegal by the Transport Department, based on its interpretation of the law. (See TD Q&A, qu. 13)
  • If your bike has a regenerative braking device, you must have third-party insurance.
  • Cyclists have a duty to stop in case of accidents (if there is any damage, even without any injury)

**IMPORTANT: The above information is provided for reference only and should not be considered legal advice. The government BLIS legal database at www.legislation.gov.hk contains the full text of all Hong Kong laws. **

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