Sharing the Road with Bicycles
If you are on a bicycle . . .
- Be predictable: Obey the rules of the road. That means obey traffic laws and signs and signals. Ride with traffic on the right side of the street, ride predictably and signal your turns. Riding on sidewalks in some areas is okay, but remember that pedestrians have the right-of-way.
- Be visible: Wear bright, colorful clothing for daytime riding. Riding at night is very dangerous for all road users. In fact, most traffic crashes occur when it's dark. Always use a white front light and a red rear flashing light or reflector (they are required by law), and wear reflective clothing or light colored clothing with reflective tape.
- Ride defensively: Bicyclists need to be prepared for motorists, pedestrians and other cyclists to do the most unpredictable things. Scan traffic at all times and practice looking over your shoulder for traffic, especially before turns. Be aware of other traffic when approaching intersections and when making left turns. Use caution riding over railroad tracks. Don't use drugs or alcohol before riding. And be courteous!
- Wear a bike helmet at all times: 75% of all bicycle fatalities involve injuries to the head. Parents should wear helmets to set a good example for their kids.
- Make sure your bicycle fits you: Make sure your bike is the proper height for you. If you can straddle the top tube of your frame while comfortably touching the ground with your feet, your bike should be a good fit.
If you are in a vehicle . . .
- Treat bicyclists with respect: They have just as much right to the road as motorists.
- Check for bicyclists before opening your car door: Flinging the door open can be very dangerous for a biker who is trying to navigate between traffic and parked cars. Don't drink or do drugs before driving: Anytime!
- Give the bicyclist some space: Leave three to four feet of space when passing a bicyclist (state law requires three feet of clearance) and don't move over until you have completely passed.
- Don't crowd a bicyclist: Give cyclists extra room. Crowding cyclists near curbs is hazardous when they try to steer away from possible debris in the gutter or when crossing storm sewer grates.
- Be predictable: Always signal your intentions. Good communication will prevent the majority of motor vehicle/bicycle crashes.
- Watch out for the kids: Kids are unpredictable and think they are immortal. Watch for them in neighborhoods and near parks and schools. Nationwide, about 40% of all cycling fatalities involve children under 14 years of age.
For more information, contact:
Crime Prevention Officer Steve Herman
(920) 727-2888 ext 7309