Bike Safety & Security
What has two wheels, improves mobility and air quality, reduces traffic congestion and parking demand, saves energy, and promotes healthy living through enjoyable exercise? Sound too good to be true? Planners, engineers, policymakers, and cyclists recognize these as benefits of bicycle commuting.
Lock Your Bicycle!
Most stolen bikes were not locked! The first step to take against theft of your bicycle is to lock it securely and correctly, even if it is inside a building. These additional precautions can keep your bicycle safer from theft as well:
At home or at your apartment (check your lease), keep your bicycle in a locked garage, basement or room. Never leave it outside unsecured.
Lock your bicycle by placing a chain or cable through both wheels, the frame and around a stationary object. If you use a bicycle rack, place the chain or cable through one wheel and the frame.
Use a quality lock and casehardened chain or cable to lock your bicycle. The lock should have at minimum a 9/32-inch shackle, and the body and locking mechanism should be casehardened. It should also have a double locking mechanism with heel and toe locking.
Contact your local law enforcement to find out if it has a bicycle registration program. Mark your bicycle with your parent’s driver’s license or identification number. This number serves as a deterrent to thieves and helps police identify and return a bicycle to its owner. The campus police may loan you an engraving tool.
Use the WVUPD Bicycle Registration form as a record describing your bicycle. Other records you or your family should keep are the sales receipt and a photograph of your bicycle.
Equipping Your Bicycle for Commuting
- Make sure the bicycle is properly sized and adjusted.
- Use a white headlamp and a red rear reflector for night riding.
- A rack over the rear wheel is convenient for carrying items such as books, a briefcase, or clothing.
- Carry a basic tool kit, tire patch kit and tire pump for those unexpected roadside repairs.
Bicycle Safety Guidelines
- Wear a bicycle helmet. It is the law for persons under 18 years of age.
- Ride with the traffic flow.
- Ride in a straight line.
- Ride to the right if you are moving more slowly than other traffic, unless you are turning left, passing another bicycle or vehicle, or avoiding hazards.
- Stop at stop signs and red lights.
- Use a light, reflectors and reflective clothing during darkness.
- Wear bright clothing during the daytime.
- Keep a safe distance from parked cars.
- Use proper hand signals when turning, stopping or changing lanes.
- Use extra caution when it is raining, and allow extra time to stop.
- Cross railroad tracks at a right angle.
- Walk your bike when using a crosswalk.
- Do not wear headphones on both ears while riding.
- Keep your bike properly maintained so it is safe.
- Do not drink and ride.
- Ride defensively.
- Use hand signals.
- Be alert for road hazards.
- Watch for cars at cross streets and driveways.
- Obey all traffic signals.
- Use lights at night.
- Be aware of parked cars and watch for car doors that may open.
- Give pedestrians the right of way.