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St. Bernard Police Department
4200 Vine Street
St. Bernard, OH 45217

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You are here: Bicycle Safety Information

Bicycle Safety Information

Bike riding is fun, it's exciting, great exercise, and also it's a great way to explore the area where you live. You won't be alone when you are riding, however; you'll be sharing the road with vehicles of all shapes and sizes.

Before You Ride Always Do the Following:

Wear a Helmet - Protect your head/life

  • Look for helmet labels that show they are recommended by either the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or the Snell Memorial Foundation. Most serious injuries and deaths on bikes are related to head injuries.
  • Make sure that your helmet is fitted properly and is snug.

Perform a Bike Safety Check

  • Check the air in your tires
  • Check your brakes
  • Check your crank and handle connections

Wear Proper Clothes

  • When riding after dark, you must have a front lamp that gives a white light visible for at least 600 feet, as well as a front white reflector. A rear red reflector or tail light must be visible for at least 600 feet.
  • Wear reflective clothing and put reflective material on your shoes and bike.
  • Be sure that books and other loose items are secured to the bike or are carried in a back pack.

When Riding Keep the Following in Mind:

Vision: The first step in riding safely is being able to see the cars, trucks, or motorcycles that are on the road with you.

It's easy to see vehicles in front of you, but you will also have to see vehicles that are coming from behind. This means looking quickly over your left or right shoulder to see if any cars or trucks are coming. Before you ride on any busy street, practice the skill of steering straight ahead and looking over your shoulder. This will help you keep control of your bike and still see the other vehicles.

As you ride, listen for the sounds that other vehicles make as they come up from behind. By hearing these sounds early, you can more easily share the road with them.

Moving In Traffic: Because you're riding your bike on the same roads as cars and trucks, you must obey the "Rules of the Road" like they do. Some special rules for bike riders are:

  • Stay on the right side of the street, near the curb. Move with traffic and watch for parked cars turning into traffic or car doors opening suddenly.
  • Ride in single file when you are with others.
  • Obey all traffic signs, signals and road markings.
  • Use hand signals to indicate a turn or stop.
  • Walk your bike across all busy intersections.
  • Do not carry passengers or packages. These can cause you to lose control.
  • Never weave from lane to lane, or hitch a ride on moving cars, trucks or motorcycles.
  • Let all pedestrians, cars, or trucks go first when they are about to cross in front of you.

Bike Routes:

If you are looking for a safer way to bike around our city, you may be interested in the bicycle path located along the Great Miami River. You must remember when using this path that you have to yield to all pedestrians.

Protection Against Theft:

A bike can be stolen from just about any place, but simple precautions can deter would-be bike thieves. Remember: Most bikes that are stolen are not locked!

  • Always lock your bike securely, whether you're gone for a few minutes, or a few hours.
  • If your bike is at home, keep it in a locked garage, or locked securely to a post, tree, or other object. Don't leave it unsecured in the yard or driveway.
  • What kind of lock should you use? Use a U-lock, securing both wheels and the frame to a stationary object, like a post, fence, tree, or bike rack. You can also use a high quality lock and a case-hardened chain or cable, placing the chain through both wheels, the frame, and around a stationary object. You could even use both kinds of locks together for extra-added security.
  • Record the serial number of your bike and keep it with the sales receipt and a photograph of your bike.
  • Mark your bike with some additional form of ID. This means marking it with your drivers license number, or your parent's or guardian's drivers license number if you are too young to drive.

Marking your bike helps protect you and serves as a deterrent to would-be bike thieves. It also helps the police in identifying and returning a found or stolen bicycle to the owner. Besides marking your bike, keep a record of the following information in a safe place. You can also register your bike online with the Police Department by going to our bike registration link on our website.

  • Serial number
  • Any Special Identifications
  • Brand name, model, color, speeds, boys or girls, size, are there fenders, new or used, special accessories and any other descriptive information.
  • Date purchased and value.

If your bike is stolen call the police immediately. Tell them who you are, where and when the bike was stolen, and give a description of the bike. The sooner you call us the more likelihood of a recovery. If you have another person around, have them follow the suspects and get a good description and direction of travel.

Basic Do's and Don't of Biking:


  • always wear a helmet - they can save your life
  • ride with traffic. Keep to the right side of the road.
  • obey all traffic regulations.
  • use proper hand signals for turning or stopping (using your left arm, point straight out to the left for a left turn, hold your left arm at a right angle like you are taking an oath which indicates a right turn, and place your left arm palm down indicating that you are stopping) Keep your right arm on the brakes in case you need to stop quickly.
  • stop and look both ways in order to make sure that sidewalks are clear before entering.
  • use proper headlights and red tail lights, reflectors, and reflective clothing when riding at night.
  • walk your bicycle across busy streets at corners or crosswalks.


  • show off. Keep your hands on the handle bars.
  • zig zag, race, or stunt ride in traffic.
  • hitch rides on trucks or cars.
  • carry passengers.
  • carry large packages which could get in your way (use luggage carrier or basket).
  • ride against traffic.
  • wear dark clothing at night. Wear reflective clothing and light colors.
  • tailgate or ride too closely to other vehicles.
  • ride through puddles (you don't know what hazard lies below)
  • ride in the center of the lane, especially in the rain, the oils from the road may become a hazard.

Accidents involving bicycles are steadily increasing. Major streets are the most dangerous. The peak traffic hours between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. are the most dangerous for cyclists. Avoid busy streets as much as possible and try to plan your biking before 4 p.m.

Bike Maintenance

The fun of riding is missed if your bicycle doesn't work right. Check your tires daily for air pressure and wear. Making sure the handle bars, saddle, and pedals are tight can prevent a fall. Lubricate the chain and wheels often. Ask your parents or a qualified bike mechanic to help you keep your bike in top condition.

Happy Biking!!!!!!

Be sure to visit our bike patrol link. There are links to a host of bike topics.