Top Tips for Cyclists
15th September 2015
Take a safe start position at lights:
Wait in front of other vehicles when you’re at traffic lights – the blue painted box with a white cycle symbol shows you where.
Large vehicles at lights:
Get well in front of large vehicles such as lorries and buses and do not wait on their left. Make eye contact with the driver so they know you’re there.
If you can’t get in front safely, wait behind the vehicle.
Never undertake a large vehicle at a junction:
Avoid cycling on the left or near the front of large vehicles especially near or at a junction where the vehicle may turn left – the driver can’t see you. Take a cycle training lesson to learn how to be safe around large vehicles.
Consider your road positioning:
Keep a door width’s space between you and parked cars in case the doors are suddenly opened. You will know when you are on narrow roads when you see cycle logos on the road, but no blue cycle lanes. If the road is too narrow for a vehicle to pass you then it may be safest to ride in the middle of the road and assert your position as a road user.
Make yourself visible:
By law, after dark you must have white lights at the front and red lights at the back of your bicycle.
Wear something bright or reflective so you can be seen more easily.
Follow the rules of the road:
Bicycles are legally defined as vehicles – you’re entitled to ride on the road and must follow the same rules as all other road users.
Don’t ride through red traffic lights and don’t cycle on the pavement unless it is signed as a shared path. Remember that pedestrians always have priority on shared paths.
10 tips for safer cycling:
- Be aware of the driver’s blind spot when passing lorries and buses. It’s often safer to hang back
- Pay attention to what is going on around you and be aware of what other road users might do
- Try to make eye contact with drivers so that you know they have seen you
- Ride assertively, away from the gutter. If the road is too narrow for vehicles to pass you safely, it may be better to ride in the middle of the lane to prevent dangerous overtaking
- Ride in a straight line past parked cars, rather than dodge between them, and allow at least a full door’s width between you in case the doors are suddenly opened
- Wait in front of other vehicles at traffic lights by using the advanced stop line for cyclists if there is one
- Don’t ride through red traffic lights. You may be fined £30
- Use appropriate hand signals when making a left or right turn
- Wear bright clothing in the day and reflective clothing or accessories at night
- Use lights after dark; white at front and red at rear. You may be fined £30 if you don’t have them
You should also always wear a helmet!