Safe Routes Scoop

Safe Bicycling and the Law

yourself on the road.  While state law provides that bicycles should stay as far right as “practicable,” this may not always be the safest place when dealing with motor vehicle traffic. Move left to avoid debris or the “door zone” of parked cars. Take the lane to make a left turn or when moving at the speed of motor vehicle traffic. And consider taking a skills class from the League of American Bicyclists or Bike New York.


When choosing your route, do a little investigating prior to departure. The route you might prefer may not always be the safest for a bicycle, nor the shortest. Use a map to see if there are residential or low-traffic back roads that lead to your destination.  Many of New Jersey’s older suburban communities often have quiet residential streets just a block away from traffic-clogged arterials.


Finally, be sure to ride defensively.  While you may have the right-of-way, if you suspect a motorist is not going to yield, it is better to play it safe.  By following the rules of the road and riding smart, you can have a safer ride, whether you’re riding for transportation, fitness or fun.


Rules of the Road from the League of American Bicyclists

  1. Follow the Law - it's the safest way to ride. Bicyclists have the same rights and duties as other drivers and need to follow the same traffic laws.

  2. Be Predictable - ride in a straight line, signal turns and check behind you before turning or changing lanes.

  3. Be Conspicuous - ride where drivers can see you, use lights at night and wear bright clothing.

  4. Be aware — anticipate the next move of drivers, pedestrians and other cyclists. Watch for debris, potholes and grates.

  5. Ride Ready — tires need air, brakes must work, chains should run smoothly, and quick release wheel levers must be closed. Carry repair and emergency supplies. Wear a helmet.

1 2 3 4
Front Page Feel free to forward this newsletter to other interested parties.