As Spring Comes, So Come Bicycles
It is important to remember that bicycles are vehicles not toys and there are some basic bicycle safety rules to be remembered when riding.
- Before getting out in the street, complete a safety check of your bike – tire inflation, headlight working, brakes grabbing properly, bell/horn working. If you’re headed on a long trip, put together a repair kit.
- Always wear a properly fitting bicycle helmet. This may save your life in the event of an accident.
- Make sure your bicycle is adjusted to your height. Seat height should be adjusted to allow a slight bend of the knee when your leg is fully extended while pedaling. Handlebar height should be level with the seat.
- Dress to be seen. Wearing neon garments, reflective tape or other bright colors will make you more visible. Remember that driver’s are not expecting to see anything except other vehicles and may totally overlook you until it’s too late.
- Keep your bike in your control at all times, whether riding or walking. Keep at least one hand on the handlebars always. Attach packages to a bike carrier or put them in a backpack securely attached to you.
- Watch out for potholes, broken glass, loose gravel, puddles and any other debris in the roadway where your bike is riding. Each of these hazards could cause a crash.
- Stay off the road at night. If you must ride at night, be sure to wear reflective gear, turn on your headlight and make sure you have reflectors on the front and rear of your bicycle.
Bicycles Traffic Rules and Regulations
- Bicycles ridden in the street have the same rights and responsibilities as a motor vehicle; if ridden on the sidewalk, they have the same rights and responsibilities as pedestrians.
- Ride with the traffic flow in the rightmost lane in the same direction as other vehicles.
- Obey all traffic laws, signs, signals and lane markings.
- Yield to traffic when entering a roadway. Slow down and make sure the way is clear.
- Ride is a straight line, not in and out of cars. Always signal your moves to others. Look before turning. Watch for left or right turning traffic.
- Be alert at all times. Do not wear any kind of head set except a hearing aid. Watch for any activity in parked cars, like unexpected door openings.
- Do not ride in the blind spot of another vehicle.
- A bicycle rider or passenger under the age of 16 must wear a properly fitted and secured helmet. It should meet national safety standards. Children 10 years and younger should ride on sidewalks and not on the street.
- Florida has ranked in the top three in bicycle and pedestrian fatalities every year since 2001.