Bicycle Safety

Bike Safety and Laws

According to Arizona State law, cyclists have the very same rights and responsibilities as motorists. Respect for the rights of ALL road users will help you feel good about yourself and avoid accidents too.

Most crashes between motorists and cyclists happen at intersections. Most often, when the motorist is at fault, it is because they failed to yield the right-of-way to the cyclist. This usually happens when you turn left in front of a cyclist, or pull out from a stop sign or driveway into a cyclist’s path.

Arizona Bicycle Laws

ARS 28-644 Stop for traffic lights and stop signs
ARS 28-817 Always use a white headlight and a red rear reflector when you cycle after sunset or before sunrise
ARS 28-792 ARS 28-904 Yield to pedestrians at crosswalks and on sidewalks
ARS 28-756 Before you turn or change lanes, look behind you, signal to show your plan to turn or change lanes, and yield to any traffic already there. Cyclists may signal their turns by extending either their left arm for a left turn or their right arm for a right turn
ARS 28-721 Any vehicle moving slower than the normal traffic speed shall drive in the right-hand lane, or “as close as PRACTICABLE” to the right edge of the road, except when preparing to turn left or when passing
ARS 28-704 Any vehicle on a two-lane road that has five or more vehicles behind it must pull off at the first safe pullout to allow the vehicles behind to proceed
ARS 28-815 Special conditions that affect cyclists more than motorists are recognized in the law

You may ride far enough from the road edge to stay clear of surface debris, potholes, rough pavement, drain grates, and pavement joints, as well as to avoid pedestrians, dogs, parked vehicles, and other objects.

You may occupy any part of a lane when your safety warrants it. Never compromise your safety for the convenience of a motorist behind you.

Laws for Bicycle Riders Only

ARS 28-813 Every person riding a bicycle must have a regular seat to sit on
ARS 28-817 Every bicycle must have at least one brake that will make the wheel skid when applied
ARS 28-815 You may ride no more than two side-by-side, except on exclusive bike paths
ARS 28-816 You must have at least one hand on the handlebars at all times
ARS 28-814 You may not attach your bicycle to, or hold onto, another vehicle on the roadway

Bicycle Safety Tips

Before using your bicycle, make sure it is ready to ride. Always

  • Wear a bicycle helmet. It could save your life!
  • Inspect your bike to make sure all parts are secure and working properly
  • Inflate tires properly and check brakes before riding
  • See and be seen. Always wear fluorescent or bright color clothing when riding during the day
  • Carry books and other items in a bicycle carrier or backpack
  • Avoid riding at night; it is far more dangerous than riding during the day. If you have to ride at night, wear something that reflects light. Make sure that you have reflectors on the front and rear of your bike (lights are required)

Safe Bicycle Riding

Bicycles are considered vehicles, and bicyclists must obey the same rules as motorists. When riding, always

  • Ride single file in the same direction as other vehicles. Go with the flow of traffic — not against it!
  • Obey all traffic signs, signals, and lane markings
  • Signal your moves to others. Be courteous to pedestrians and other vehicle operators
  • Most bicycle crashes occur at driveways or other intersections. Before you enter any street or intersection, check for traffic by looking left - right - left
  • Stay alert at all times. Watch out for potholes, cracks, wet leaves, storm grates, railroad tracks, or anything that could make you lose control of your bike
  • When turning left or right, always look behind you for a break in traffic, then signal before making a turn. Watch for left or right-turning traffic
  • Ride so other drivers can see you. Stay out of drivers’ blind spots
  • Ride far enough out from the curb to avoid the unexpected from parked cars (like doors opening)

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