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Bicycling Safety Guide

1.jpg (4905 bytes) Obey Traffic Signs, Signals, and Laws
Bicyclists must obey the rules of the road if they are to be taken seriously by motorists. Be visible, predictable and flow with the traffic stream
7.jpg (7029 bytes) Avoid Road Hazards
Watch out for drainage grates, sewer covers, oily pavement, gravel, and ice. Lane markings and manhole covers can be slippery when wet. Cross railroad tracks close to a right angle. Stand up on your pedals to gain better control as you move across bumps and other hazards.
2.jpg (5792 bytes) Never Ride Against Traffic
Motorists are looking left for traffic, not for cyclists on the wrong side of the road. Wrong way riding cyclists are twice as likely to get in an accident as those riding with traffic. It is against the law to ride against traffic, EVEN in a bike lane.
8.jpg (7297 bytes) Use Lights at Night
Front reflectors are inadequate. The law requires a strong headlight (visible from at least 500 feet) and rear reflector or taillight (visible from 600 feet behind) at night or when visibility is poor. Wear light-covered clothing with reflective tape for extra protection
3.jpg (6085 bytes) Use Hand Signals
Hand signals tell motorists what you intend to do. Signal as matter of law, of courtesy, and of self protection.
9.jpg (7304 bytes) Ride Slowly On Other Sidewalks
Pedestrians have the right of way. By law you must give them an audible warning (call out, ring a bell or horn). Law requires cyclists to slow to a walking pace at driveways when a car is approaching. Look VERY CAREFULLY for traffic which might turn across your path.
4.jpg (5687 bytes) Follow Lane Markings
Do not turn left from the right lane. Don't go straight in a lane marked right turn only.
10.jpg (6393 bytes) Walk On Downtown Salem Sidewalks
Walk your bike on busy sidewalks if you are uncomfortable riding in the traffic lane. Salem City Code REQUIRES you to walk your bike when using sidewalks in the downtown area marked by signs.
5.jpg (6343 bytes) There Are Two Ways to Make a Left Turn
1) Like an auto, signal, move into left lane (or left side of lane) and turn left.
2) Like a pedestrian, ride straight to the far side crosswalk and walk your bike across.
11.jpg (6903 bytes) Ride With Both Hands Ready to Brake
Ride with your hands near the brakes to allow for quick reactions to traffic and road hazards. Allow extra distance for stopping when tires are wet. Brakes are less efficient when wet and chrome rims do not brake as well as aluminum alloy rims.
6.jpg (5689 bytes) Ride In The Middle of The Lane in Slow Traffic
Get in the middle of the lane at busy intersections whenever you are moving at the same speed as traffic. Don't forget to signal when moving to the center of the lane.
12.jpg (9044 bytes) Dress Appropriately
Wear your helmet. Wear bright clothes, especially in the rain or when visibility is poor.

How to Ride in Traffic:
  1. 1. Be Predictable - Ride so drivers can see you and predict your movements. Remember that the rules in the drivers manual apply to bicyclists also.
  2. 2. Be Alert - Ride defensively and expect the unexpected. Remember, no matter who is at fault in an accident, the bicyclist loses.
  3. 3. Be Equipped - You will ride easier and safer if you and your bike have proper equipment.
Summary of Oregon Bicycle Laws

Bicyclists must:

  • Obey traffic lights, stop signs, one-way streets, and other basic traffic laws.
  • Ride as far "as practicable" to the right (or to the left or right on a one-way street).
  • Yield the right-of-way to pedestrians. Give audible warning when overtaking a pedestrian on a sidewalk.
  • Keep at least one hand on the handlebars. Keep control of bicycle at all times.
  • When riding from sunset to sunrise or whenever visibility is poor, use a headlight with a white light that is visible from at least 500 feet ahead and a red reflector or lighting device visible from at least 600 feet behind.
  • Keep brakes adjusted so that, when braked, your bicycle skids on a clean, dry pavement.
  • Ride astride a fixed seat (kiddie seat and tandems acceptable). Riding "double" is prohibited.
  • Ride no more than two abreast.

Return to Bike Map page.

Return to Transportation Services Division main page.



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