Bike riding and skating along the side of the road is dangerous. Many cities and towns provide bike trails and areas for in-line skating. Besides your yard, these are the safest areas for you to bicycle and skate since there are no vehicles allowed there.
When you ride your bicycle or in-line skate on New York State roads, you are required to follow the same laws as motor vehicle drivers. There are also laws that are just for bicyclists and in-line skaters.
All people between the ages of one and 14 are required to wear a certified bicycle helmet when bicycling, in-line skating (roller blades), operating a non-motorized scooter or skateboarding in New York State. But a helmet will not protect you if it doesn't fit properly or is not used correctly:
Children under the age of one are not allowed to ride as passengers on bicycles.
See the Helmet Coloring Page.
Ask your parents if you can personalize your helmet with stickers, decals or other available decorations.
During the day, wear light colored or bright colored clothing so you can be seen.
At night, you should wear light colored and reflective clothing.
If you ride your bicycle at night, the law requires:
Also all bicycles are required to have a bell or sound device but NOT a siren or whistle.
Our partners at the New York State Department of Health have told us that many injuries in-line skaters get are preventable. If you are under the age of 14, you must wear a helmet. Other equipment which can protect you in an in-line skating fall:
If you will be riding your bike or in-line skating by the side of a road, you will need to know what these traffic signs and signals mean.
|A sign like this one means that there is a bike lane or bike path. If there is a bike path or bike lane on the side of the road, you are required by law to use it. If there is not a bike lane, you should ride with traffic as far to the right side of the road as possible.|
|When the signal light turns green, cars go. When you cross the street at a signal light, you should wait for the walk signal. Some corners don't have a walk signal, so you should wait for the green light to show in your direction. Remember that cars may be turning, so be sure to look carefully to the left, right and left again, before crossing the street.|
|The WALK signal is found at busy intersections. It means that it is okay for you to cross the street. BUT you should always look both ways, by looking to the left, right and left again, to make sure no cars are coming or turning into the area where you are going to cross the street.|
|This signal is the same as the WALK sign. It has a picture of a person walking instead of using the word WALK.|
|When the signal light turns yellow, car drivers should slow down and prepare to stop. If you are waiting to cross the street, you should not cross if the light is yellow. The light is about to turn red, but cars will enter the intersection.|
|When the signal light turns red, car drivers should stop. If the light is red in your direction, you should not walk across the street.|
|The DON'T WALK signal is on the same signal as the WALK signal. You should wait to cross the street until the signal changes to WALK.|
|This signal is the same as the DON'T WALK sign. It is part of the signal with the picture of a person walking. This is a picture of a red hand, meaning you should stop. You should wait to cross the street until the green picture of the person walking is showing.|
|Car drivers, bikers and in-line skaters must come to a complete stop at STOP signs. When there are no vehicles or pedestrians in the intersection and it is safe, you may go through the intersection.|
|A yield sign means to slow down and be ready to stop.
|Do not enter means that this is a one way street and you may not go this way. This is also a rule for bikers and in-line skaters.|
|This is a one way street, car drivers may only go in the direction of the arrow. This is also a rule for bikers and in-line skaters.|
This sign means you are coming to a crosswalk.
|This sign means that you are coming to an intersection and should be prepared to stop. At a busy intersection, it is safer to walk your bike across the street instead of riding it.|
This sign means you are near a school crossing zone. For more information see:
This sign means you are coming to a railroad crossing. Railroad tracks are uneven. You should not try to bicycle or in-line skate over them. For more information see:
|When people are working on the roads, parts of the road or sidewalk are often dug up or rough. Be careful when walking, bicycling or in-line skating. Uneven, rough roads could make you fall off your bike or in-line skates. If you must move into the road to go around a work area, you should stop and look carefully to be sure there is no traffic coming before going into the road.|
|A detour is a way of getting around a roadway that is closed. Roads are usually closed because of road work or dangerous conditions. If you must take a detour, use caution on roads you aren't used to.|
|These signs show the directions and distances to towns and cities.|
|Think you know this? Take the Traffic Sign Quiz.|