Smart Rules & Laws
General Do's and Don'ts
- Ride like you are a car. Motorists understand the behavior of a vehicle. The more predictably you ride to a driver, the safer you are.
- Don't weave in and out of traffic. Maintaining as straight and predictable riding line as possible.
- Look, signal & look again. Don't assume drivers will stop. Communicate your intensions as clearly as possible using hand signals. Try to make eye contact with drivers.
- Stay visible. If drivers can see you, they are less likely to hit you.
- Use lights when riding at night or in low-light conditions. Being visible is very important to your safety.
- Don't ride distracted. Don't listen to music, talk on the phone or text while riding.
- Use your bell. Your bell alerts drivers, pedestrians and other cyclists to your presence.
- Wear a helmet to protect your head.
- Go with the flow. Always ride in the direction of traffic.
- Obey all traffic laws and lights.
- Stay alert and stay on the lookout for obstacles in your path.
- Motorists must give at least three feet when passing a bicycle.
- Lincoln Municipal Code Chapter 10.48 - Bicycles
- Nebraska Revised Statutes Chapter 60 - Motor Vehicles
- 60-6, 133 (Overtaking and passing rules; vehicles proceeding in same direction)
- 60-6, 314 (Nebraska Rules of the Road; applicability to persons operating bicycles)
- 60-6, 315 (Riding of bicycles, prohibited acts)
- 60-6, 316 (Bicycles; clinging to vehicles; prohibited)
- 60-6, 317 (Bicycles on roadways and bicycles paths; general rules' regulation by local authority)
- 60-6, 318 (Equipment on bicycles; lights; brakes)
- 60-6, 319 (Bicycles; reflective device or material; retail sale; requirements; violations; penalty); 60-611 (Bicycle, defined)
Most people would not think about driving a car without using a seat belt, so why would you ride your bike without a helmet? Even a low-speed accident can be jarring to the brain and studies have shown that people who wear helmets when they ride are much less likely to have a head injury in an accident.
- Make sure your helmet sits flat on your head. Your helmet should not be tilted forward or backward. By allowing your helmet to tilt forward or backward, either your forehead or back of your head is overly exposed to injury in the event of an accident. If your helmet tilts forward, adjust the rear straps. If it tilts backward, adjust the front straps.
- The front of the helmet should sit low. A general rule of thumb is to allow a space of about one or two finger widths between your helmet and your eyebrows.
- The straps should form a V shape under each ear.
- Make sure the chinstraps are securely fastened below your chin. Your helmet should feel snug on your head and should not move side to side or up and down.
- Make sure you always by a new helmet. The foam inside a helmet which protects your head from an impact is made from petroleum, which breaks down over time. As a result, an older helmet, even if it has not been in an accident, will not provide the same level of protection as a new helmet.