Bicycle Safety

Who doesn’t love to ride a bike? It’s fun, healthy and a great family activity. It’s also a green alternative to driving. But before you jump on your bike, here are some tips to make sure you and your family are ready to ride safely!

Before you leave the house, get prepared. Plan your route, check your equipment and follow these simple tips.

  1.  Always wear a bicycle helmet. This is important for everyone at every age, but for riders under the age of 18, it’s the law.

  1.  Be alert. Keep your eyes and ears open. Don’t use your cell phone or wear headphones while you ride.
  1. Be visible. Make sure that drivers can see you coming by wearing bright clothing and using lights and reflectors.
  1. Practice defensive riding. Scan the road ahead so you can steer clear of hazards. Be ready to brake or change course to avoid cars, pedestrians, potholes or debris in your path.

Under the California Vehicle Code, bikes are considered a vehicle. For the most part, cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle drivers.

    1. Motorists and cyclists follow the same rules of the road. Motorists must yield to bikes as they would to any other vehicle.


  1. Always bike with the flow of traffic. If you’re traveling as fast as traffic, you can ride in any vehicle lane you’d like. Ventura County does not allow riding on the sidewalk in business areas or where signs say no riding.
  1. Motorists must give cyclists three feet of space. If there is not enough room for a bike and a vehicle to safely travel side by side, cyclists are entitled to use the entire lane, no matter how fast they move.

  1. If you’re going slower than the speed of traffic, you must use a bike path (if there is one) or hug the right shoulder of the vehicle lane except when making a left turn, passing or avoiding hazards.

Be a safety role model for the young people in your life. Make biking safe and fun for the whole family by following these guidelines.

  1. Make sure that child carriers – like bike trailers and bike seats – are highly visible and installed correctly according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

  1. Children under the age of 18 are required to wear helmets. Don’t let your child ride a bike without a helmet that fits well and is properly secured. .
  1. Supervise children on bikes at all times. Never let kids ride alone.

  1. Whenever possible, use protected bike paths, also known as Class 1 bike paths, which are completely separate from city streets. Visit VCTC’s Regional Bike Map to find Class 1 bike paths in your area.