If you spend just a few days in Santiago, you’ll notice that a lot of people ride their bikes throughout the city. Since bike lanes are growing more, the rules and laws are also changing to make sure that bikes, cars, and pedestrians can move together safely and effectively. This is what you need to know about the Bike laws in Chile.
- All drivers of motorcycles, scooters, mopeds, and passenger must wear a helmet game. Use of protective helmet, in the case of bicycles, shall be enforced only in urban areas.
- At night, or as soon as the sunsets and 30 minutes before the sunrises and during certain weather conditions where there is not enough natural sunlight, bicycles must have reflective elements.
- Persons operating motorcycles, scooters, mopeds and bicycles may not travel in groups of more than two abreast, except on paths intended for the exclusive use of these vehicles.
- All turns should use turn signals, within a minimum of 30 meters of their turn, by electrically signaling the vehicle or, alternatively, with their arm.
- All hand signals arm should be with their left hand, in the manner indicated:
- 1. Left Turn, left arm extended horizontally;
- 2. Right turn, right arm extended horizontally; (left arm 90-degree angle for cars)
- 3. Slowing down or stopping, left arm extended downward.
For those sticklers out there, we can tell you that under Chilean law, a bicycle is a vehicle and unfortunately, they don’t consider vehicles with different characteristics and by law, all vehicles must travel on the road (street). However, in practice, there are many areas where it is common practice to ride your bike on the sidewalk.
Renting a bike
You can grab a monthly rental through the city’s bike sharing system. Head to http://www.bikesantiago.cl/ to check the rates. A copy of a passport is needed to rent these bikes (in lieu of a Chilean identification card), as well as documentation of accommodations. Once registered, you’ll receive a “Bike-card” in the mail with which you can use to rent the bikes.
If you need something just for the day or a week, most hotels know of nearby places to rent bikes. There are also quite a few bike rental places near the street Pocuro and Antonio Varas and near major bike paths.