April 2023

Once a year road around Ossiach lake is closed for cars

Recently, coming back from work with my bike and senselessly hurrying, I rode on the so-called late green through a pedestrian-bicycle crossing. To my misfortune right in front of a police car. In addition, I drove onto the sidewalk,
and continued cycling, hoping that the police car would go away and I would calmly return home. The car, indeed, drove on, but only to the nearest exit, where kind and courteous policewomen were already waiting for me. The standard question was whether I knew why they were waiting for me here. Of course I knew, but only partially. What was new to me was that it is not allowed to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk, which is not marked as a bicycle path, in Austria. The ladies explained, checked sobriety, wagged a finger that when we met again and so on, and let me go. They did not ask for documents. I got out of the whole thing defensively, but at the same time I realized that actually, I don’t know what and how in the matter of cyclist in Austria.

So I did some research on the Internet, and I’m sharing it with you. All the information comes from http://www.radlobby.at, and since it is only in German I present a selection of the essentials. You can find the full document in the original here. The compilation of information includes, of course, the latest changes that came into effect in October 2022.


Here (usually) you ride in mixed traffic with other vehicles. A bicycle is a vehicle, and general traffic laws apply here.

In some cases, pictograms are used as road markings on conventional roads. These sharrows (Share and Arrow) are intended as a guide and are not associated with any specific regulations.

Bicycle lane and bike roads

Motor vehicle drivers are not allowed to impede or endanger cyclists.

Speed limit of 30 km/h

Cyclists may ride side by side

Motor vehicles may use locally regulated exceptions (e.g., tractors, mopeds)

At intersections: general rules of priority

Pedestrian zone and residential zone:

Speed limit according to the sign (20 or 30 km/h)

Cyclists must not impede or endanger pedestrians.

Drivers of motor vehicles must not impede or endanger cyclists and pedestrians.

All vehicles may pass.

Cyclists may ride side by side

Playing on the roadway is prohibited

When leaving the zone: general rules of priority

In addition, in the vicinity of schools, drive „at pedestrian speed”

Sidewalks that are marked with a sharing sign, i.e., such as the following are suitable for riding:

The square signs being just informative, while the round signs are prescriptive.

It is not allowed to ride a bicycle on sidewalks that do not have such signs (as above) and on zones / paths / roads with such signs as below (unless there is a plate under them ausgenomen radfahrer or ausgenomen + bicycle sign)


In general, if there is a bike path you should ride your bike on it, unless:

you ride a road bike and/or have a training ride

you are riding a bicycle with a trailer with a width of more than 1 meter

you are riding a cargo bicycle with a width of more than 1 meter

Then you can ride on the roadway. And what is this road bike?


The unladen weight of the bicycle max. 12 kg
Racing handlebars – according to the Ministry of Transport: any type of handlebars used in racing.
Outer diameter of the rim min. 630 mm Outer rim width max. 23 mm
In daylight and with good visibility, reflectors, lights and bells can be dispensed with.


You can only ride on crossings intended for bicycles or mixed crossings, for pedestrians and for bicycles ( with the so-called ladder I in the photo above). It is not allowed to ride on crossings intended only for pedestrians.


Cyclists are allowed to ride side by side on bicycle paths, in bicycle lanes, in pedestrian zones, on residential streets in pedestrian zones, on training rides on racing bicycles – also on the roadway.
If a child under the age of 12 is accompanied by a person at least 16 years old, the child may ride next to the person, except on railroads.
On all other bicycle facilities and on roadways where a maximum speed of 30 km/h and bicycle traffic is allowed, with the exception of railroads, priority roads and one-way roads opposite the direction of travel, it is permitted to ride a single-track bicycle next to another cyclist, provided that no one is endangered, the volume of traffic allows it, and other road users are not prevented from overtaking.
As a general rule, when riding side-by-side, you may only use the right-most lane and must not impede regular traffic vehicles.
In all other cases, side-by-side driving is prohibited.


Cyclists in groups of ten or more must be allowed to pass through the intersection in convoy with other traffic participants. When entering an intersection, the rules of priority for cyclists must be observed; the cyclist in front must signal the end of the group to other motorists in the area of the intersection with a hand signal and dismount if necessary. The first and last cyclist in the group must wear a high-visibility reflective vest.


When overtaking cyclists and scooters (Section 88b), motor vehicle drivers must maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 meters in built-up areas and at least 2 meters in urban areas. However, if the vehicle is traveling at a maximum speed of 30 km/h, the distance may be less than this safe overtaking distance. Here, the previous regulation that you must maintain an unspecified „lateral distance corresponding to traffic safety and driving speed” still applies.

In turn, you should drive as close to the right edge as possible, but: without creating a hazard, hindering or obstructing other road users without endangering yourself or damaging property.
A passing distance of 1.2 to 1.8 meters from parked vehicles when driving at 30 km/h in mixed traffic is a reasonable distance to protect against the danger of opening vehicle doors.

In addition, drivers of motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of more than 3.5 tons must travel at a pedestrian’s speed when turning right within city limits if bicycle traffic (straight ahead or turning right in the same direction of travel) or pedestrians crossing the roadway are to be expected in the immediate vicinity of the turn. Drivers of vehicles (with the exception of rail vehicles) must allow cyclists who are in a bicycle crossing or who clearly wish to use it to cross the roadway without danger. To this end, vehicle drivers may only approach the crossing at such a speed that their vehicle can be stopped before the crossing, and must stop before the crossing if necessary.


§5 (1) StVO: Whoever is in an intoxicated state due to alcohol or intoxicants shall not drive or operate a vehicle.

If you suspect that you are under the influence of alcohol, you are required to give a breath sample.

If you fail or refuse to do so, a blood sample may be taken without your consent.

From 0.8 ‰ of alcohol in the blood, there are fines starting at 800 euros.

From 0.5 ‰, the police may prohibit you from riding a bicycle.


With all transportation options, each child must have his or her own seat, be secured with a seat belt, and be protected by a structure to prevent hands or feet from entering the wheels of the bicycle or trailer. The person driving a bicycle with a child must be at least 16 years old. Children under the age of 12 may ride on the road under supervision. The person supervising must be at least 16 years old.

At the age of 10 or at the age of 9 in the 4th grade, one can take a bicycle test and obtain a bicycle license. Children with a bicycle permit can ride on the road without supervision.
Without a bicycle permit, children may not ride on the roads unsupervised until they are 12 years old.
This also applies to electric-powered scooters.

A children’s bicycle (as defined by the StVO) has rims up to 300 mm in diameter and can reach a maximum speed of 5 km/h. It is not legally considered a bicycle. It can be ridden on the sidewalk, but not on the roadway (except on residential streets) or on the road.(except on residential streets) and not on a bicycle path.
When riding a children’s bicycle, children under the age of 8 must be supervised by a person who is at least 16 years old. Care must be taken to ensure that children on bicycles do not obstruct or endanger vehicular or pedestrian traffic.

Children under the age of 12 must wear a bicycle helmet both when riding a bicycle and when being carried on bicycles and bicycle trailers. The supervisor must ensure that the child properly wears the helmet.
The obligation to wear a helmet does not apply if the use of a helmet is not possible due to the child’s physical condition.


Front light – white white or bright yellow rest light with a brightness of at least 100 cd; permanently connected to the bicycle.
Rear light – red may also flash, with a brightness of at least 1 cd; need not be permanently connected to the bicycle. The taillight and headlight need not be carried in daylight and good visibility, (§1(4) FVO.)
Brakes – Two independently operating brakes
Bell / horn – a device to emit audible warning signals is mandatory (both bell and horn allowed in Austria)
Reflectors – rear reflector – red may be integrated with the rear light, front reflector – white may be integrated with the headlight edal reflectors – yellow or equivalent devices. Reflective tape is acceptable, instead of reflectors at the front, rear and on the wheels, reflective tape may be used. They must meet the requirements of UNECE Regulation No. R 104 (vehicle quality). Side reflectors in the spokes or reflective strips (continuous ring) on both tires may also be used.

Excessive penalties for defects / missing equipment have also been reduced. Even several equipment deficiencies (according to FVO §1(1)), such as reflectors or bells, are to be punished as only one administrative offense.


Electric scooters are subject to the same regulations as bicycles.

It is not allowed to talk using the phone while riding, unless through a hands-free set, but then so as not to cause a traffic hazard

Bicycles may also be parked in the following places:

on residential streets and in pedestrian zones, including outside marked parking spaces.
in pedestrian zones, as long as this does not impede the movement of pedestrians and other traffic participants.
at bicycle racks on the sidewalk, if the sidewalk is wider than 2.5 m. Bicycles should be placed in such a way as not to impede pedestrian traffic or damage property. It is forbidden to park bicycles at public transportation stops, except at bicycle racks placed there.