Basic Bike Safety Tips
This weekend, when the weather was beautiful, I noticed lots of people riding bicycles.
I hope that they all enjoy themselves and that everyone has the opportunity to ride their bike safely. That is the key for everyone-the cyclists, the pedestrians and the drivers.
Unfortunately, some cyclists were going through the red lights. I posted some information on our Facebook page and our residents immediately commented that they saw bicyclists riding the wrong way on one way streets.
There also were comments about people riding their bicycles on the sidewalk.
According to the Department of Transportation (DOT) website, the operator of a bicycle must abide by the same traffic rules and regulations as the operator of a motor vehicle.
Adults should not be riding bicycles on the sidewalk. Bicycles must travel in the same direction as traffic. Bicycles must stop at red lights and at stop signs.
Here is the information from New York City Department of Transportation website:
NYC biking laws
Cyclists have all the rights and are subject to all of the duties and regulations applicable to drivers of motor vehicles.
Ride in the street, not on the sidewalks (unless rider is age 12 or younger and the bicycle’s wheels are less than 26 inches in diameter).
Ride with traffic, not against it. Stop at red lights and stop signs. Obey all traffic signals, signs and pavement markings, and exercise due care to avoid colliding with pedestrians, motor vehicles or other cyclists.
Use marked bike lanes or paths when available, except when making turns or when it is unsafe to do so. If the road is too narrow for a bicycle and a car to travel safely side by side, you have the right to ride in the middle of the travel lane. Bicycling is permitted on all main and local streets throughout the city, even when no designated route exists.
Use a white headlight and a red taillight, as well as a bell or horn and reflectors.
Ride in a straight line, obey traffic signs and signals, and do not weave in and out of traffic. Riding predictably reduces your chances of a crash with a motor vehicle.
Look, signal and look again before changing lanes or making a turn. Establish eye contact with drivers. Seeing a driver is often not enough. Make sure drivers see you before executing a turn or riding in front of a turning car.
Watch out for car doors. Be prepared for the possibility that a car door may be opened in your path. When possible, leave room between yourself and parked cars (3 feet is generally recommended) so that you can avoid a door that opens unexpectedly.
Stay visible. Wear brightly colored clothing for daytime riding. At night, use reflective materials and lights.
Use your bell. Your bell alerts drivers, pedestrians and other cyclists to your presence, it is required by law.
Don’t wear earphones. By law you may wear one earbud, but keeping your ears clear is a much safer choice.
Wear a helmet. Helmets are required by law for children age 13 or younger and working cyclists, helmets are a good idea for cyclists of all ages.
For children on bicycles
Children under age one cannot be carried on a bicycle. They must be carried in a properly affixed child carrier.
Cyclists under age 13 must wear an approved helmet.
All are invited to attend the 112th Precinct Community Council’s next meeting on Wednesday, May 21, at 7:30 p.m. at the 112th Precinct stationhouse located at 68-40 Austin St. in Forest Hills. Our guest speaker will be Chief Joanne Jaffe, commander of the NYPD Community Affairs Bureau.
Editor’s note: Heidi Harrison Chain is president of the 112th Precinct Community Council.