Metro Bike Safety Tips
Metro encourages bicycling for transportation and we want to help you get to your destination safely! Metro will be offering FREE 3-hour and 8-hour bicycle traffic safety classes this summer - find a class near you .
Below are some tips for sharing the road. Laws regarding the operation of a bicycle can be found in the California DMV Vehicle Code .
On-Street Bike Safety
- Obey all traffic signals including lights and stop signs.
- Ride in the same direction as traffic.
- Use hand signals before turning, stopping, or changing lanes; make eye contact with drivers to signal your intent.
- Ride predictably and in a straight line.
- Watch for opening doors from parked cars and ride at a distance clear of them.
- If a vehicle is turning right, stay clear by passing it on the left.
- Pay attention to vehicles that may enter your path at intersections and driveways.
- Avoid road hazards such as sewer grates, road debris and manholes.
- Use caution when riding in rain or on wet streets and allow extra time to stop.
- Assume the bus operator cannot see you.
- Do not pass a bus on the right hand side.
- If bus is pulled over at a stop, pass to the left of the bus when it is safe to do so.
- Cooperate with bus driver by signaling turns and riding predictably.
- When bus operators signal their intent while approaching a stop or merging into traffic, allow the bus plenty of room.
- Obey signs and signals at train crossings. Never attempt to cross when crossing lights and arms are activated.
- Cross railroad tracks at a right angle. Avoid leaning and turning because tires can easily slip on tracks.
- Rail tracks can be slippery, especially when wet.
Bicycling Safely Outside the Bike Lane
Bicyclists may need to take the full lane to safely navigate certain traffic situations. Section CVC 21202 of the California DMV Vehicle Code sets out several situations in which bicyclists are permitted to leave the "as far right as practicable" position on the road.
- To avoid obstacles and unsafe conditions, including the door zone of parallel parked cars.
- To pass another bicyclist, bus, car, etc.
- To prepare for a left turn.
- To avoid an area where right turns are made.
- When traveling as fast or faster than other traffic at that time and place.
- When the lane is too narrow to share with a vehicle.
- Be courteous and yield to other trail users.
- Ride more slowly if the path is crowded.
- Use caution around pedestrians, elderly and families with children.
- Always pass on the left, and use an audible signal (i.e. bell, horn or friendly voice) when doing so.
- Yield when entering or crossing other paths.
- Do not block the path.
- Wear a helmet - it's required by law for persons under 18 years of age.
- Lights are required for riding at night. Use lights and reflectors on both the front and back of your bike, and wear reflective clothing to help drivers see you.
- Keep your bike properly maintained to operate safely and efficiently.
- Carry repair tools, a spare inner tube, patches, pump and extra lights.
- Always yield to pedestrians.
- Riding with headphones in both ears is prohibited by law.