**IMPORTANT: The information is provided for reference only and should not be considered to be legal advice. Please consult the government’s BLIS legal database for yourself at www.legislation.gov.hk to be sure of what the laws are.**
Bike lights (white front, red back) are required to be used when there is low light or at night under the Road Traffic (Traffic Control) Regulations. In our experience these can single LEDs, but must be visible to other road users.
Lights should be mounted on the bike, not the helmet. ‘Normally mounted’ lights should meet the (quite detailed) requirements.
Every bicycle should have a braking system, which could be either traditional levers and brake pads or pedal-back brakes, as specified in the Road Traffic (construction and maintenance of vehicles) regulations.
According to the Road Traffic (Construction and Maintenance of Vehicles) Regulations, “Every bicycle and tricycle shall be fitted with a bell capable of giving sufficient warning of the approach or presence of the vehicle”, and “No bicycle or tricycle shall carry a warning instrument other than a bell”. A horn is therefore illegal, and even shouting may not be permitted, it has been suggested, though we are not aware of any prosecutions for having “a warning instrument other than a bell”.
Riding on pavements/footpaths
Bicycles are defined as vehicles in law, so if vehicles in general are banned from pavements, that means we should also not be using pavement, however there is a small caveat in the law, as follows:
Any person who without lawful authority or excuse …
(8) rides or drives on any foot-path without obvious necessity; or in any public place rides or drives recklessly or negligently or at a speed or in a manner which is dangerous to the public, having regard to all the circumstances of the case … shall be liable to a fine of $500 or to imprisonment for 3 months.
On one-way streets vehicles can use any lane, and pass on either side, as can bee seen on Transport Departments ‘Cycling Safety: Riding on the Road’
The Road Traffic Ordinance requires bicyclists to ride in a single file except when overtaking. The Road Traffic (traffic Control) Regulations specifically targets rickshaws and bicycles and not motorcycles or other similar vehicles.
Cycling in tunnels and on bridges
The Road Tunnel (Government) Regulations do not permit bicycles in tunnels. There is no general rule about cycling on bridges or overpasses or through short underpasses but many have a ‘no cycling’ sign. It is the this sign that determines whether you can ride there (unlike tunnels and expressways, on which cycling is prohibited even when there is no sign). Being stopped for this offence is not common.
Cycling in Country Parks is not permitted unless an Application for Use of Country Park Mountain Bike Trail/Site Permit is obtained from the AFCD. More information is available at the Hong Kong Mountain Bike Association website.
Cycling minimum age
Electric bikes are not considered to be bicycles under Hong Kong Law, and are classified as a form of motorbike.
Cycling while under the influence of drink/drugs
Not surprisingly, it is against the law to cycle whilst under the influence of drink or drugs, under the Road Traffic Ordnance, section 47.
There are limitations on the carriage of dangerous goods, which can be found under the Dangerous Goods (General) Regulations.