The bike is a handy vehicle. You can get from one place to another quickly, it is free to ride and your physical condition increases. When cycling (or driving an electric scooter) keep in mind the basic rules of traffic to make the ride smooth and safe for yourself and other people.
In this article you’ll find a few important traffic rules for cyclist. See the Pyöräliitto ry website for a more detailed description of the cyclist’s traffic rules that base on the Road Traffic Act.
The Road Traffic Act is only in Finnish, but can be found here: https://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/ajantasa/2018/20180729
Please note that electric scooters must comply with the traffic regulations for cycling.
Drive on the bike path or on the side of the road
As a rule, the bike and the electric scooter must be ridden on the bike path. If there is no bike path, you need to use the right side of the roadway.
Only children under the age of 12 are allowed to cycle on the sidewalk, otherwise driving on the sidewalk is always prohibited.
Many bike paths are one-way
Under current law, the bike path is basically one-way. So always choose the bike path that is on the right side of the street in the direction of travel. On a combined cycle path and sidewalk or two-way bike path, drive on the right side of the lane.
Be aware of the traffic aroud you when crossing roads
Approach the crossing and intersection at a slow pace so you have time to spot other road users.
Always give way and/or stop if traffic lights, a give way triangle sign or a stop sign indicates this. Give way to traffic coming from the right and pedestrians using the zebra crossing.
The car is not always obliged to give way to the cyclist, so stay aware when crossing roads. For example, on a zebra crossing, a cyclist is required to give way unless the traffic signs indicate otherwise. However, a car that turns or enters a roundabout must always give way to cyclists.
Give a signal with your arm when you turn
Always use your arm to show which direction you are turning – even after crossing the road unless you continue ahead. When you show that you are about to turn, others can anticipate your moves and avoid hazards.
Become a pedestrian by walking a bike
If the intersection feels complex or there is a lack of bike path along your journey but you don’t want ride on the roadway, you can always jump off your bike. When you walk the bike, you become a pedestrian, allowing you to use pedestrian lanes, traffic lights, and crossings.
Remember helmet, lights, reflectors and bell
The use of a helmet is highly recommended, although cyclists without a helmet will not be penalized. The lights, on the other hand, are mandatory. The white or yellow headlight and the red backlight should be used in the dark and twilight. Reflectors to the front, rear and side are also mandatory. In addition, the bike must have a bell or other device alike and functioning brakes.
Check the width if you are transporting goods
When transporting goods on a bicycle, the load can’t be wider that the bike itself.
Read more about cyclist traffic rules
The Road Traffic Act in the Finlex service (in Finnish)