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Bike and Scooter Safety

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You never forget how to ride a bike, but do you remember the rules of the road? 

It’s always the perfect time to get out for a ride along any of Tempe’s many multi-use paths. It may also be the time to refresh your memory about all those rules of the road. Whether you are out and about on your bicycle, scooter or skateboard, please remember these simple tips.

Download our rules of the road safety flyer PDF.


There are new rules for operating bikes and scooters in Tempe. Here is what you need to know.

  • Bikes, e-bikes and scooters must use a bike lane when one is provided.
  • Bikes, e-bikes and scooters must ride in the street when the speed limit is 25 mph or below.
  • Bikes, e-bikes and scooters are allowed on the sidewalk when there are no bikes lanes available and the speed limit is greater than 25 mph.
    • E-bike motors must be disengaged.
  • Minors, with the consent of, or accompanied by a parent or guardian, may ride on the sidewalk at all times. Parents and guardians may also ride on the sidewalk when accompanying a minor.
  • Bikes, e-bikes and scooters must ride with the flow of traffic.
  • Bikes, e-bikes and scooters must yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian; slow down to 5 mph; and give an audible signal before passing.
  • Riders must be over the age of 16 to operate all non-human powered vehicles (scooters and other electric mobility devices).
  • Riders under the age of 18 are required to wear a helmet if operating a human-powered or non-human-powered vehicle.

Studies continue to show that riding on the sidewalk increases a bicyclist’s risk of being involved in a motor vehicle crash.  That risk increases even more when riding on the sidewalk against the flow of traffic.

Changes will be effective beginning Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. Visit to view the full ordinance.


hand signals


Ride on the right with the flow of traffic

Motorists are not looking for bicyclists riding against traffic on the wrong side of the road. Wrong way riding is dangerous and against the law.



Maintain control

 Choose the best way to turn left

There are two ways to make a left turn:
1) Like an automobile driver, move into the left lane, and turn left; always use hand signals;
2) Like a pedestrian, you may walk your bike to the far crosswalk.


turning left

Wear a helmet

A bike helmet must fit well and be properly adjusted to do its job of protecting your head. It should fit snugly, with the chin strap fastened. When purchasing a helmet, make sure it is approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or the Snell Institute. Helmets should be replaced after the impact of an accident or even after several years of wear and tear.


 bike image

Use hand signals

Hand signals tell motorists and pedestrians what you intend to do. Signal as a matter of law, courtesy and self-protection.




Scan the road

  Follow lane markings

Go where the lane goes. Do not turn left from the right lane. Do not go straight in a lane marked right-turn-only.




obey laws

Obey traffic signs, signals and laws

Bicyclists must operate their bicycles like drivers of motor vehicles. Obeying laws helps you to be taken seriously by motorists. 



ride on right

 Use a light at night

The law requires a white headlight and rear reflector at night. Adding a blinking red tail light is a good idea.





 Always maintain control of your bike

Keep both hands on the handlebars. Be prepared to stop or make quick turns. Cross railroad tracks at a 90-degree angle.




Leaving bike lane

 Scan the road around you

Regularly scan the roadway for hazards, cars and people. Learn to look over your shoulder without losing your balance or swerving to the left. Stay aware of your surroundings at all times. 


When approaching a METRO light rail crossing

    o Never try to beat the train
    o Never stop on the tracks
    o Be alert when near the tracks
    o Look for flashing headlights and listen for warning bells and horns
    o Look both ways before crossing the tracks

You may leave a bicycle lane...

...when a road hazard or other obstruction exists in a bicycle lane, you may temporarily merge with caution into the adjacent automobile lane to avoid the hazard.

Wear bright-colored clothing

Three Foot Law

As a motorist, there are certain laws and safety tips that relate to sharing the road with bicyclists. Bicyclists and motorists should treat each other with courtesy and respect by safely sharing the road. Passed in 2000, Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) 28-735 states that motorists must provide a distance of at least 3 feet when passing a bicyclist. Fines for violating ARS 28-735 can be up to $500.