Bike Safety

Tips and Tricks for Riders and Drivers

The best way to ride is with some basic knowledge on how to share the road safely and effectively. Just as we ask drivers to follow basic rules, we too must abide by the law and practice additional vigilance to protect ourselves and the safety of the roadway.

See our page on bike law here: bikeshreveport.com/law

Basics: How Bikes Signal Turns and Stops

Left Turn

Extend the left hand and arm horizontally, with the hand open and the back of the hand to the rear.

Right Turn

Extend the hand and arm upward at an angle of forty-five degrees from shoulder or elbow, with the hand open and the back of the hand to the rear.  A bicyclist may also extend the right hand and arm horizontally with the hand open and back of the hand to the rear.

Stop or Slow

Extend hand and arm downward at an angle of forty-five degrees from shoulder or elbow, with the hand open and the back of the hand to the rear.

Reminders for Riders

Be Aware

Nothing beats paying attention. Be aware of your position on the road, the position and speed of others on the road, as well as potential obstructions and dangers. Sharing the road is a responsibility for everyone, including the rider.

Follow All Traffic Laws

The City of Shreveport requires all bikes to follow the rules of the road – stop at traffic lights and stop signs where indicated, use lights at night, and more. Some laws specifically relate to bikes and must be followed by riders and drivers. Read more about city and state law at bikeshreveport.com/law

Use Hand Signals

Just as we all expect drivers to use their turning signals and brakes, we too must signal our intentions. Use the simple guide of hand signals at the top of this page for guidance.

Ride to the Right

Riders are encouraged to “ride right” in the travel lane to make it easier for cars to pass. The exceptions are when preparing to turn left or when riding on the right side of the lane is unsafe – open doors, cluttered roadway.

Two Abreast

It’s not just smart, it’s the law. No more than two cyclists side-by-side in order to share the road responsibly. This keeps the lane from being cluttered, causing a potential collision hazard and also makes it easier for vehicles to pass safely.

Use Lights at Night

Also smart, also the law. Use a bright white light on the front and a red reflector on the rear. It’s smart to wear bright clothes when biking at night. We highly recommend a flashing red light also be affixed to the rear of the bike for better visibility. Also recommended, a reflective vest.

Keep the Sidewalk Clear

Unless you are under 15, you are required to ride in the road, not on the sidewalk. When riding on the sidewalk, kids should be mindful of pedestrians and yield to them just as cars do on the road.

Use Common Sense

Look before you travel through an intersection, don’t ride too close to parked cars that may open their doors. Be courteous to drivers and pedestrians. Be an example for others at all times – you never know who might be watching.

Reminders for Drivers

Bikes May Use Full Lane

By state law, bicycles have the right to use the full lane of travel on the road. Riders are encouraged to ride as far to the right as is practicable, but may be unable due to obstructions or conditions you may not be able to see.

Sharrows Are A Reminder

Not every road will have a bike marker, called a “sharrow”. These icons are present to make drivers aware that a particular roadway is often used by bike riders and encourages you to be more aware of their presence.

Three Feet Rule

The State of Louisiana requires that vehicles pass with three feet of clearance to the rider. The last thing anyone wants is a bike rider under your wheels. Give them room, even if they are using the full lane.

Crossing the Double Yellow Line

It is legal in the State of Louisiana to cross the double yellow line in order to pass a bike rider so long as it is safe to do so. You will not be ticketed for crossing if you are passing a bike.

Merge Early

If you are passing a bike rider, merge as early as possible to allow drivers behind you time to see the rider ahead.

Do Not Harass Riders

It is illegal to harass a rider. They are protected by the State of Louisiana from taunting, yelling, excessive honking, and other “road rage”. You could wind up with a citation or jail time.

Be Mindful of Doors

Because riders are encouraged to “ride to the right”, this means they may be closer to a parked car than drivers might expect. Always look out of your window and in your rear view mirrors before opening your door to prevent hitting a bike rider.

No Parking in Bike Lanes

You may not drive or park in a bike lane, lest you get a ticket for doing so. Bike lanes are meant to provide a place for riders, but if you block their lane, they will not use it.

Instructional Videos

Basic Bike Check

Make sure you’re ready for the ride.

Scanning

Be aware of your surroundings!

Using Hand Signals

Share your intentions

Start & Stop

Get off on the right foot!

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