Cyclists have to comply with the Austrian Road Traffic Act (StVO), which establishes the legal basis of the behaviour of cyclists (and all road users). The bicycle regulation is a supplement of the StVO and regulates the safe equipment for one-track and multi-track bicycles and bike trailers, the placement of child seats, maximum loading weight and safety instructions.
In Austria, cyclists are allowed to participate independently in traffic with the age of 12 years. With official permission (with the cycle license, after the successful passing of the voluntary cycling proficiency test), children may cycle independently on the road with the age of 9, if they attend the fourth grade of primary school, resp. with the age of 10.
Children under the age of 12 without cycling license, are only allowed to cycle on the road if they are chaperoned by a person with a minimum age of 16.
Basically, cyclists are not allowed to ride side by side on roads.
But cyclists are allowed to ride side by side on cycling lanes, cycling streets, in residential areas and encounter zones.
Cyclists may ride side by side in pedestrian zones, if it's allowed to cycle there.
The bicycle must have:
- Two independent brakes
- Headlight with white or yellow light and red rear light
- Reflector* in the front (white light) and rear reflector (red light). The reflectors can also be connected with the headlight and the rear light.
- Side reflectors* or reflective stripes on the tyres (white or yellow)
- Reflectors on the pedals (yellow)
- A device for acoustic warning (e. g. bell or horn)
*Or reflective materials (with at least 20 cm² light ingress surface each), like white or red reflective tapes or wheel reflectors.
The wearing of a bicycle helmet is mandatory for children up to the age of 12. The bicycle helmet must be used by children:
- if they ride a bike,
- when being transported on bikes (e. g. in a child seat) or
- when being transported in bike trailers.
The chaperone is responsible for the child wearing the helmet. There are no penalties for cycling/being transported without helmet, but the legislator is rather counting on raising awareness among parents/guardians. The wearing of a helmet is not mandatory if the physical constitution of the child doesn't allow it.
- Riding freehand
- Removing the feet from the pedals while cycling
- Being pulled by another vehicle
- Carrying dangerous objects while cycling (e. g. opened umbrella, sharp objects etc.)
Cyclists must give a clear hand signal to the respective direction.
No. It is not allowed to cycle lengthwise there. Only the crossing with the bike is allowed, e. g. to reach a bicycle parking facility.
Exception: Children under the age of 12 years, are allowed to cycle there with a children's bike or similar modes of transport (at walking speed) which are classified as "toy similar to a vehicle", under the condition that pedestrians and the road traffic are neither endangered nor hindered.
(Small) children are allowed to ride a children's bike or similar modes of transport (at walking speed) on pavements, sidewalks, footpaths or in residential areas, but not on the road. A children's bike is not legally classified as bicycle but as "toy similar to a vehicle". According to the Austrian Road Traffic Act (StVO) a children's bike has a rim diameter up to 300 mm and can reach a maximum speed of 5 km/h. Children under 12 years without cycling license must be chaperoned by a person of a minimum age of 16 years. The chaperoning can be omitted for children over the age of 8, if the usage of the "toy similar to a vehicle" is propelled by muscle power only (f.e. a scooter without a motor).
So that one brake still works if the other breaks.
On bicycle lanes cyclists have to ride:
- according to the given directional arrow,
- behind each other,
- on the given area (separated line to the right of the traffic lane),
- accordingly on the lane, so that the risk of dooring (risk of being hurt by suddenly opened car doors) will be minimized and that other vehicles can still overtake with a safe distance.
Attention: A bicycle lane must always be used on the right side of the road.
If it is not possible or allowed for cyclists to ride on bicycle lanes continuously or if the bicycle lane ends, cyclists must be able to change to the nearest traffic lane in such a way that they can alternately follow a vehicle in the continuous traffic lane (zipper system).
Cycling in pedestrian zones is generally not allowed, but the bike can be pushed.
In pedestrian zones, in which cycling is permitted (shown by a sign), cyclists have to take care of pedestrians and cycle at walking speed.
The blind spot is the area that cannot be seen by vehicle drivers (especially of large vehicles) with the rear-view mirrors. Cyclists can avoid the blind spot by standing in front of the vehicle in order to be seen by the driver or by stopping behind the vehicle.
Electric bikes: Pedelecs and e-bikes with a maximum power of 600 watts and a maximum speed of 25 km/h are legally classified as bicycle. Hence, the same traffic regulations as for the bicycle will apply.
Attention: S-pedelecs (speed-pedelecs with a maximum power of more than 600 watts and a maximum speed of more than 25 km/h) cannot be classified as bicycle. In this case, the traffic regulations as for the moped will apply.