Fair Lawn Police
Bicycle Safety Tips
Register your bicycle with the Fair Lawn
(click above for info)
A bicycle is more than
a means of basic transportation. Riding can be fun, exciting, and a great way to
exercise. Remember though, when you ride, youre not alone! You share the road with
cars, trucks, pedestrians, and other cyclists. Accidents are the quickest way to turn a
bicycle adventure into a bicycling tragedy. Here are some tips to help make your ride a
safe and enjoyable one.
Protect Your Head - Wear a helmet
Wear a helmet! Studies have shown that using a bicycle helmet can reduce the
chance of head injuries by up to 85%. Select a helmet that has a snug, but is comfortable
fit. Look for the helmet labels that show they are recommended by either the American
National Standards Institute (ANSI) or the Snell Memorial Foundation.
People under the age of 17 are required to wear an
approved helmet for cycling, roller skating, in line skating, and
Read the Statute
See and Be Seen - Wear proper
Wear proper clothing for riding. Clothing should be light in color so that
you are easily visible to others around you, and close fitting to avoid being caught in
the bicycle's moving parts. Also, be sure that books and other loose items are secured to
the bike, or are carried in a back pack.
The Safe Way Is The Right
Go with the flow of traffic; ride on the right side of the road. You must obey the
rules of the road when you ride. This includes traffic signs, signals, and road markings.
The safe way to ride is in single file. Dont weave from lane to lane or tailgate to
hitch rides on moving vehicles. Learn and use proper hand signals.
Look ALL Ways
Be aware of traffic around you. 7 out of
10 car-bicycle crashes occur at driveways or other intersections. Check for
traffic---always look left-right-left. Walk your bicycle across busy streets at corners;
use crosswalks when possible.
Keep a look-out for obstacles in your path. Watch out
for potholes, sewer gratings, cracks, railroad tracks, loose gravel, and broken glass.
Before going around an object, look ahead and behind you for a gap in traffic. Plan your
move, and signal your intentions. Be especially careful in wet weather; water can make you
slide, and make your brakes work improperly.
Beware of the Dark Side
Be cautious when biking at night. If
you have to ride at night, display front and rear reflectors on your bicycle. Wear light
colored clothing and reflective markings or materials, especially on your ankles, wrists,
back, and helmet. Ride in areas that are familiar, and on streets that are brightly
Follow designated bike routes where
available. Bicycles routes are marked by special signs or lines, and are reserved for
cyclists. Become familiar with such places in your area. Dont forget, courtesy
rules for the road apply to bike paths too!
Fix It Up
Make sure your bicycle is adjusted properly for you.
Before using your bike, check to make sure that all parts are secured and working. The
handlebars should be firmly in place and turn easily; the wheels should be straight and
secured. You should always check all parts of your bicycle after a fall, or after
transporting it. Make sure the tires are properly inflated.
Check your brakes before riding. When
using hand brakes, apply the rear brake slightly before the front brake. Remember to ride
slowly in wet weather; roadways may be slippery and your brakes will have less friction to
stop the bicycle. Its important to apply brakes earlier in wet weather since it
takes more distance to stop.
Protect your bicycle from theft. A bicycle
can be stolen from just about any place at any time. But simple precautions can deter
would-be bike thieves . One thing that most stolen bikes have in common is that they were
not locked-up. Always lock your bicycle securely, whether you're gone for a few minutes or
a few hours. Use a U-lock, securing both wheels and the frame to a stationary object such
as a post, fence, tree, or bike rack. For extra security, add a chain or cable with a good
padlock. Record the serial number of your bicycle and keep it with the sales receipt and a
photograph of the bike. Mark your bicycle with an engraver to deter thieves and to help
the police in identifying and returning a stolen bike to the rightful owner. Use a unique
number such as your social security number or driver's license number.