Watch For Bicyclists

Whether you bike for fun, for exercise or to get to where you’re going in a greener way, you have a big responsibility to keep yourself and others safe. All bicyclists must obey the rules of the road. Make sure you’re visible to drivers, pedestrians and other cyclists. And, most importantly, watch for others out there – because they might not be watching for you.


Be Safe

Follow the rules of the road as though you were a car.

Obey stop signs and traffic signals.

Always ride on the right in the direction of traffic.

Yield to pedestrians in or at crosswalks.

Avoid riding on sidewalks.

Wear a helmet correctly on every ride to help prevent head injury.

Helmets work only if you wear them correctly. Helmet Fitment Guide

Ride as far to the right as is safe. If there’s no bike lane, ride in the travel lane when necessary for your safety.

Ride single file in traffic if it is not safe to ride two abreast.

Scan ahead for hazards such as drains, potholes, debris, or railroad tracks, and give yourself time to go around them safely.

Give yourself extra distance to stop in slick or sandy conditions.

Stay out of the door zone, by riding 3-4 feet away from parked cars.

Be Visible

Wear bright clothing or reflective gear to increase your visibility.

Reflectors aren’t always enough. Use lights at dusk, dawn, at night, or in rain for maximum visibility. Lights increase your visibility in the daytime, too!

Alert others that you’re approaching or passing by using a bell or calling out “passing on your left,” and allow plenty of space.

Signal all turns. Use proper hand signals in advance to tell others where you are going. Hand Signal Guide

Ride in a straight, predictable manner and don’t weave, swerve, or stop suddenly.

Watch For Me

Pay attention and avoid distractions like cell phones and music players. You need the ability of your two key senses, seeing and hearing, to detect cars.

Watch for cars backing up in parking lots and driveways. Brake lights may mean that a car is about to back up.

Look left, right and left again. Look for cars in all directions.

Don’t assume vehicles see you. In fact, it’s safer to assume they don’t!

(Adapted from Bike Walk CT’s “Give Respect, Get Respect.
Share the Road, Connecticut”


Where to Ride

Bicyclists traveling on roadways have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists.

Bicyclists must ride on the right in the same direction as traffic and a far to the right as is safe.

Bicyclists cannot ride on the right side of the road into oncoming traffic.

Bicyclists can ride on sidewalks and in crosswalks but when doing so have the same responsibilities and rights as pedestrians. For example, they need to wait for the proper cross walk signal.

Cyclist Behavior

Bicyclists must obey all traffic signs and signals, including stopping at red lights and stop signs.

During nighttime and times of low visibility, bicyclists must utilize a front light visible from 500 feet, a rear red reflector or light visible from 600 feet, and reflective material on the bike visible from 600 feet on each side.

Bicyclists must use hand or mechanical signals to communicate intended movements, such as turns or stops, with other travelers, but signals need not be given continuously.

CT State law allows cyclists to ride two abreast but no more than two abreast.

Bicyclists must yield the right-of-way before entering or crossing any main-traveled or through highway if the roadway they are on is posted with a “yield-right-of-way” sign.


Motorists must allow a minimum of 3 feet of separation when passing a bicyclist and when emerging from driveways and alleys.

Bicyclists being passed by a motor vehicle or another bicyclist should remain as far to the right as possible and not increase their speed while being overtaken.


Children under the age of 16 must wear a helmet when riding a bicycle on public roads, public paths, and public rights-of-way.

All child passengers under 40 pounds or 40 inches must be seated and secured in a child seat or bicycle trailer.

Parents may not authorize their children to violate statutes related to bicycle travel. In other words, by state law, children under 16 must wear a helmet when riding a bicycle whether their parents want them to or not.