bike safety and security

Feel safe and comfortable when you GO by BIKE throughout the San Diego region. Make sure you know key bike safety tips and traffic laws before you ride. Acting within the law and riding as a part of normal traffic will make your ride safer and more enjoyable.

Bike safety resources:

Here are some basic rules and guidelines:

1. Be visible

  • Wear bright-colored clothing at all times and reflective clothing at night.
  • When riding at night, bikes are required to have a headlight emitting white light, visible from no less than 300 feet, as well as rear, pedal, and side reflectors.

2. Riding on the street

  • Ride in the same direction as traffic and stay in a bike lane, sharrow lane, or right lane. Watch for turning vehicles and ride outside the door zone of parked cars. Traffic lights, signs, and signals apply to all road users.
  • Stay alert. Make eye contact with drivers and scan the road and traffic around you. Make your intentions clear and make yourself seen.

3. Intersections

  • Watch for cars pulling out of driveways or parking spots.
  • Use hand signals to indicate a turn, except when both hands are needed to retain control of the bike.
  • When turning left, move cautiously into the far-left or left-turn lane. Don't turn left from the right-hand side of the road.
  • When going straight, merge to the left of “Right Turn Only” lanes while avoiding any oncoming traffic. Do not go straight in a lane marked “Right Turn Only.”

4. Sidewalks

  • Riding on sidewalks should be avoided and may be prohibited in some areas.
  • If you choose to ride on a sidewalk or crosswalk, where allowed, ride cautiously and yield right-of-way to people walking.
  • Use a bell or give a vocal warning to people before passing.

5. Hazards

  • Be aware of hazards on the roadway, such as parallel-slat sewer grates, slippery manhole covers, oily pavement, sand, and gravel.
  • Cross railroad tracks carefully and at right-angles to the track. Stand up on your pedals for better control.

6. Helmets

  • All riders are encouraged to wear helmets while riding. A helmet with integrated lighting is suggested to enhance visibility.
  • A helmet meeting the ANSI, Snell, or ASTM standards is required for anyone under 18 years of age.
7. Ride Ready

  • Check your tires, brakes, chains, and quick release to make sure your bike is working properly. Carry basic repair supplies appropriate for your ride.
  • Consider participating in a bike safety class to gain confidence and learn riding skills. Check the iCommute calendar for upcoming events.
Find the full California Vehicle Code, as applicable to people on bikes, on the Department of Motor Vehicle’s website. Some additional rules may apply within individual city limits, so please become familiar with your particular area’s requirements.

Protect Your Bike from Theft

One of the best security options available is to use a bike locker or secure bike parking. Bike lockers are available at Trolley stations, all COASTER and SPRINTER stations, Rapid transit stations along the I-15 corridor, and some Park & Ride lots. Submit an online request to reserve secure bike parking.

Many locations also offer bike racks. Remember that it’s important to secure both wheels to the frame and the frame to the rack. A U-Lock is suggested. Take items that are easily removed from your bike with you.

Register Your Bike Today

One of the most important steps you can take to protect your investment is to register your bike with the National Bike Registry. If your bike is ever stolen, having your bike registered makes it easier and faster for it to be recovered and returned to you. It’s a simple and inexpensive process that can be completed online or by phone at 1-800-848-BIKE (2453).

For more information, call 511 and say "iCommute” or email iCommute@sandag.org.

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