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    Bicycle Safety

     Bicycle Safety

    Bicyclists are responsible for obeying the same rules of the road as drivers of vehicles. Stop at stop signs, use proper hand signals for turning and stopping, and obeying traffic signals.  Stay focused, and stay alert.  Ride defensively; try to anticipate and predict what motorists may do.

    • When riding at night the law requires a front white headlight emitting a white light that, while the bicycle is in motion, illuminates the highway, sidewalk, or bikeway in front of the bicyclist and is visible from a distance of 300 feet in front and from the sides of the bicycle. (VC 21201(1))
    • A red reflector on the rear of the bicycle that shall be visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful upper beam of headlamps on a motor vehicle. (VC 21201(2))
    • A white or yellow reflector on each pedal, shoe, or ankle visible from the front and rear of the bicycle from a distance of 200 feet. VC 21201(3))
    • Ride on the road. Sidewalks are for pedestrians and in Santa Monica, bicycles are prohibited on sidewalks. SMMC 3.12.540(a)
    • Wear a helmet!  Head injuries cause about two-thirds of all bicycling fatalities.
    • Make safe turns and use hand signals to let drivers know the direction you will be traveling. Signal as a matter of law, courtesy, and self-protection.
    • Lock your bike when you're gone. Buy the best lock you can afford, none is as expensive as a new bike. A U-shaped high security lock is best. Lock the frame and rear wheel to a fixed object. If you have a quick release, you should also lock the front wheel.
    • Ride for fun, to relax, for your health and the environment!

    Befpre going for a ride:

    • To identify your bicycle, engrave your driver’s license number (or your parents’ Lic. #) on the frame
    • Register your bicycle with the City and keep the serial/model number on file
    • Check your handlebars, bicycle seats and brakes
    • Check your tire pressure
    • Check your first aid pouch for fresh supplies
    • Check your reflectors and light. 
    • Inspect your helmet and be sure to wear it.*
    • Maintain the safety of your bicycle by giving it regular tune-ups

    *If you are under 18, a helmet is required by law. Be sure it meets the guidelines of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or the Snell Memorial Foundation. Labels with this information will be inside helmets that have passed their testing standards. 

    Santa Monica Police Department © 2017
    333 Olympic Drive, P.O. Box 2200 Santa Monica, CA 90401 • 310.395.9931 •