* Indicates legal requirements in New York State
Wear a Helmet
- Bicyclists ages 1 through 13 are required to wear an approved helmet when
riding. Passengers ages 1 through 4 must wear a helmet and be fastened in
a suitable seat. No passengers under age 1 are permitted.* Some local laws
in New York State require riders of all ages to wear helmets.
- All cyclists should wear a properly fitting helmet bearing a certification
by one of the following groups:
- Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
- American Society for Testing and materials (ASTM)
- Snell Memorial Foundation
Follow the Rules of the Road
- Obey traffic regulations: stop at red lights, obey signs, observe speed
limits, and follow lane markings.* Cyclists in New York State have the same
rights and responsibilities as motorized vehicle operators.
- Never ride against traffic.* Drivers do not expect bicyclists riding on
the wrong side of the street. Even in marked bike lanes, ride in the direction
- Use hand signals. Signal in advance of turns.*
- Never wear headphones while cycling. *
Share the Road with Vehicles and Pedestrians
- Be aware of your surroundings. Make eye contact with motorists and pedestrians.
Watch for debris and obstructions in your path.
- Ride predictably in traffic. Avoid weaving between vehicles and dodging between
- Use a horn, bell, or voice warning when passing pedestrians or slow-moving
- Always yield to pedestrians. Yield to other vehicles as appropriate.
- Be careful at intersections. If necessary, dismount your bicycle and cross
at pedestrian crosswalks.
Outfit Your Body
- Wear close-fitting, light-colored clothing that is appropriate for the season.
Pant clips keep clothing from catching or rubbing on gears and chains.
- If you must ride at night, wear clothing with reflective patches or stripes.
Some helmets can be outfitted with front and rear lights.
- On long trips, plan regular rest breaks. Avoid dehydration by drinking plenty
of fluids. Pack nutritious foods for energy.
- For extended rides, plan for safety and comfort. Carry a first aid kit and
know how to use it for minor emergencies. Pack clothing for unexpectedly cold
or wet weather. Plan meal breaks and overnight stops in advance. Leave a copy
of your itinerary with someone at home.
Outfit Your Bicycle
- Use lights at night, both front and rear.* The headlight should be bright
white and visible from 500 feet. The rear reflector or taillight should be
visible from 300 feet. At least one of the lights should be visible at least
200 feet from the side.
- Your bicycle should also be equipped with wheel and pedal reflectors, or
other reflective surfaces.*
- Make sure your bicycle fits your body, and keep it in good condition.
- Carry a tool kit on long road trips and learn how to perform basic repairs
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