Bicycle Safety Tips
Missouri Bicycle Requirements
- In Missouri, bicycles and motorized bicycles may ride on any street except travel lanes of interstate highways or where prevented by a local law. (Motorized bicycles must be licensed as mopeds.)
- Bicyclists have the same rules, rights and responsibilities as other drivers. For example, bicyclists must stop at stop signs and drive on the right-hand side of the road. Anyone riding slower than the speed limit shall stay as far to the right-hand side as safe.
- Anyone riding between sunset and sunrise must have a headlight on the front, a red reflector or tail light on the back, reflective material or a light on the moving parts of the bicyclist or bike and reflective material or lights on the sides of the back.
- All bikes must have brakes that work.
- Bicycles may be ridden on sidewalks except in busy downtown areas and where prevented by local law. Pedestrians have the right of way and bicyclists must alert walkers by voice, horn, or bell. Motorized bicycles may not be ridden on sidewalks.
- No bicyclist may hold onto another vehicle.
- Use turn and stop hand signals at all times when operating a bicycle or motorized bicycle on Missouri streets and highways.
- Traffic signals often fail to detect bicyclists - meaning that the signal won't cycle and give you the green. Bicyclists can sometimes proceed through a red light, but only under very specific conditions: 1) You come to a complete stop. 2) The traffic signal shows a red light for an unreasonable amount of time and appears to be malfunctioning. 3) You wait for a safe break in cross traffic - both vehicles and pedestrians.
On-Road Safety Suggestions
Wear safety gear. Always wear a helmet. Wearing sunglasses, gloves and bike shorts are a good idea, too.
Obey the law. Not stopping at a stop sign is dangerous and makes motorists feel that a bicyclist isn't being fair.
People in cars have someplace to go...don't hold them up without a good reason.
Night-time reduces visibility. Night-time bicyclists should have bright lights and wear reflective clothing.
Ride single file in traffic. State law allows bicyclists to ride side-by-side, but only when they are not impeding (blocking or slowing down) other vehicles. Otherwise, you must ride single file to the right as far as safe.
Take extra care when passing parking lot exits and other driveways.
Remain alert and in control of your bike at all times. This includes refraining from the use of MP3 players and utlizing both hands for steering.
Be aware of opening car doors and issues with the riding surface (potholes, litter, etc.).
- Use a U-lock to secure your bike. At least lock your rear wheel and frame to a bike rack and use a second lock to secure the front wheel to the frame. Do not leave your bike locked "free standing." A thief can easily walk away with the bike and remove the lock later.
- Do not park your bike in a doorway, on stairs, or blocking any handicapped access. Use a bike rack.
- Keep a record of your bike registration so that if your bike is stolen, you can provide information for a police report. You should keep a record of the registration/tag number, make, model, serial number, size, color and number of speeds of the bike.