Whether you are visiting or a resident, it is important to have a basic familiarity with the rules of the road as it relates to biking in New Jersey. This week’s post will help you know the most important rules that are in place to help keep you safe on the road.
If you plan on you biking at night, even if you are just going down the street, you need to have a light on your bike. This includes a front headlamp that is emitting a white light that is visible to a distance of at least 500 feet away. In addition, your bike will need a rear red light that is visible from at least 500 feet. Red reflectors can be mounted to the rear in addition to – not in replacement of – the red light.
Daytime Running Lights: Let’s face it, the island during the summer months is packed with people and cars. We always recommend that customers consider having Daytime Running Lights on their bikes in addition to having lights on their bikes at night. This is not required by law, but just makes sense. When cars did it, they reduced accidents by 25% and motorcycles saw a 13% drop. Having a flashing light that’s daylight visible is the single best way for a cyclist to increase the likelihood of being seen by a driver.
2. An Audible Signal
This is simply a fancy way of saying that the bike will need to have some type of bell or horn. The best type of device is one that is able to be heard at least 100 feet away. But do know that bells that sound like a siren or a whistle do not qualify. Luckily we have all different types and styles of bells and horns at Shore Brake Cyclery to fit everyone’s needs and wants when it comes to this important accessory.
Anyone under the age of 17 years old must wear a helmet in New Jersey. Period. 🙂 Your helmet should be fastened properly to your head and clipped. We see you riders out there with the helmet on your head and it is unclipped. What do you think will happen if you fall? Don’t be dumb and clip that helmet, you will thank us later.
4. Good Brakes, Who Knew!
Checking brakes is one of the first things we do when your bike comes in for a tune up. Not only is this so important for a cyclist’s safety (if your brakes don’t work, it will be sure hard to stop!), but it is also a requirement by law. All bikes need to have a brake that is able to “make the wheels skid when stopping on dry, level, clean pavement”.
Our suggestion? Before your riding season (whether it is a beach cruiser for the summer season or that road bike you are taking off the trainer for nicer outdoor weather), schedule a tune up at Shore Brake Cyclery.
5. Ride with Traffic & Obey Traffic Signals
Bicyclists should always ride with the flow of traffic and to the right. Think about it, if you are biking in the opposite direction of traffic, that driver may not expect bicyclist coming from the opposite direction of the flow of traffic and may pull out in front of you, causing a collision.
Traffic Lights, stop signs and lane markings all pertain to you as a cyclist. This means, just like a car you need to STOP at red lights and stop signs. Ideally bicyclist should also know the proper hand signals to alert the drivers around them where they are going. It is also good for drivers to know these signals so they can correctly understand the cyclists around them.
Note to Drivers on Long Beach Island
Slow down and remember that the cyclist up ahead is human. That human is not an object and is most likely a father/mother, brother/sister, son/daughter and has a family at home waiting for them.
Many of the laws in place are common sense and are truly there to keep all cyclists safe. Long Beach Island has 18 awesome miles of road that can be used for biking, whether for leisure or for fitness, but let’s keep everyone’s summer safe and accident free by following the rules of the road!