Simple Rules of the Road for Cyclists

getabout columbia logo
Obey Traffic Signs and Signals

In order to be taken seriously, bicyclists must obey traffic laws and be courteous to other road users. Every time bicyclists run through a red light, ride in a pack, impede traffic or ride the wrong way, they enforce the notion that bicycles do not belong on the road.

Use Hand Signals

Hand signals tell motorists what you intend to do on the road. Signaling is required at least 100 feet before a turn or stop unless you need both hands to control the bicycle. If you have an available hand, let drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists know where you’re going. Signal as a matter of law, courtesy and self-protection. 

Ride Consistently

Ride as close as practical to the right. Exceptions to this rule include: when traveling at the normal speed of traffic, when avoiding hazardous conditions, when preparing to make a left turn, or when using a one-way street.

Use Lights at Night

Use a strong headlight and rear reflector at night and when visibility is poor. Wear light-colored clothes with reflective tape for extra protection. If you ride in an area with few streetlights, a solid beam front light or flashing LED light will help illuminate the way.

Get the Green Light

A pedestrian can just push a button to get the “walk” sign, but a bicycle must be in the right spot to signal the traffic light. If you come to a red light and see this symbol on the street, position your bike directly over the middle line of the symbol. This will activate the traffic signal. If a car is already present at the signal, it will activate the signal for you.

Ride Single File

Play it safe and ride single file. Bicyclists can ride side-by-side in situations where they don’t impede the normal movement of traffic

Return to Getabout Columbia                                 Return to Public Works