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.
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.
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.
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.
Use hand signals
Hand signals tell motorists and pedestrians what you intend to do. Signal as a matter of law, courtesy and self-protection.
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 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. Do you know about the three foot law? Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) 28-735 states that motorists must provide a distance of at least 3 feet when passing a bicyclist. Fines for violations can be up to $500.
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.
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