Bicycles are subject to many of the same laws as motor vehicles, and Bicyclists are subject to many of the same laws as drivers.
Riders of all ages should use the following tips to help ensure safe and legal bike operation.
• Ride with traffic.
• Stop and look both ways before entering the street.
• If you are a new or inexperienced rider, it’s a good idea to stop at all intersections.
• Before turning, use hand signals and look all ways.
• Be a responsible bicyclist – obey all traffic control devices and use proper hand signals.
• Ride defensively – anticipate the actions of other road users and watch for road hazards.
• Pass vehicles with extreme care – turning vehicles may not see you.
• Be aware of motor vehicle blind spots while riding or when stopped at an intersection.
• Walk your bicycle when you get into traffic situations beyond your cycling abilities.
• Exercise great caution when riding in bus traffic – watch out for buses pulling to and from curbs and passengers getting on and off buses.
• Park your bicycle so you do not block sidewalks, disabled accesses, building accesses, or emergency drives.
Dress for Safety
Stay safe by making sure that you are visible to motorists:
- Wear a helmet, wear bright colored clothing, and secure loose pant legs.
- Maximize your visibility at night
- Wear reflective clothing
- Apply reflective tape to your bicycle
Learning to ride a bicycle is an exciting accomplishment for a child.
Make sure that riding a bicycle remains a safe and enjoyable experience for your child by following the tips below:
- Your children should never ride at dusk or in the dark, because it is extremely risky. Instruct them to call home for a ride rather than ride a bike in the dark.
- Make sure that your children receive training in bicycle riding and withhold their bike privileges if they ignore safety rules.
- Teach your children how to keep their bikes in good repair, and check the tires, brakes, and seat and handlebar height annually.
- Provide your children with helmets approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Teach them to wear the helmets correctly on every ride, starting when they get their first bike or tricycle.
- Ensure young children are properly supervised and never allow them to ride their bicycle in the street.
- The decision to allow older children to ride in the street should depend on traffic patterns, individual maturity, and an adequate knowledge and ability to follow the “Rules of the Road.”
- Share VA Roads
- Virginia Department of Education Bicycle Lesson Plans
- Virginia Department of Health Bicycle and Skate Safety
- Virginia DOT Bicycle Program