It’s always the perfect time to get out and take a bicycle 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. When you are out and about on your bicycle, 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? 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.
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.
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.