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Bicycle Requirements and Safety

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Let's face it - bicycles are great fun! They're a great source of exercise, too. But did you know that bicycles can be dangerous if you don't wear proper safety equipment and follow the rules of the road?

Choosing the right bicycle is very important. A bike that is the wrong size for you will be too hard to control. Never choose a bicycle that you will have to grow into. Your feet should touch the ground while you straddle your bike. Keep your bike in good condition. Check it regularly to make sure it is safe to ride.

Make sure your bicycle has proper safety equipment. Your bike should have a white headlight in front and a red tail lamp in the back. You should also make sure that you have reflectors on the tire spokes - it's the law.

Choosing the right helmet for you. Wearing a bicycle helmet while riding your bike is required by law. The right helmet could be the most important piece of bicycle safety equipment you have. A proper-fitting helmet will help protect you from serious head injury if you fall. 

There are two basic types of bicycle helmets:
hard or thin shell helmet has an outside layer (shell) of plastic or fiberglass and a liner of plastic foam. The foam cushions your head when you fall.

foam helmet has no outer shell. It is made only of foam. Always use the fabric helmet cover when using this type of helmet. It will not protect you properly without it.

Whichever style you choose, make sure it has straps and buckles to help hold the helmet firmly and comfortably in place. If you can move the helmet easily with your hand, add extra padding or try another size or model. Your helmet should be low on your forehead, not tilted back and it should stay put. Ventilation holes in your helmet will help to keep your head cool. 

Make sure that your helmet is certified by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), The Snell Memorial Foundation, The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), CSA or other legally authorized certifying agencies.

Never wear a damaged helmet - it will not protect you against injury. Have your mom or dad replace your helmet right away if it is damaged. 

Did you know that what you wear while riding your bicycle is important too?

Wear bright colored clothes during the daytime - this will help people to see you better.

Although night biking is not recommended, you should wear white or light clothing and reflective tape to make sure you can be seen after dark.

Some Rules of the Road!

Drive your bike on the right side of the road in the direction of traffic.
Start using hand signals about 100 feet from where you'll stop or turn.
Obey all traffic lights and signs.
Give pedestrians the right of way.
Never hitch a ride by holding onto a truck or car.
Don't weave in and out of traffic or use parking lots to play with your bike.
Stop and look in both directions before entering a street, driveway, or alley.
Look ahead for children or animals that may run out in front of you.
Pass cars on the left where the driver can see you.

City of Montclair Municipal Codes governing the use of bicycles within the City.
Chapter 8.12 BICYCLES
8.12.010 Scope of provisions.
8.12.020 License required.
8.12.030 License--Issuance, term and fees.
8.12.040 License plates--Registration cards.
8.12.050 Transfer of ownership--Fee.

Interactive Websites

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Neither The City of Montclair nor the Montclair Police Department whose site contains the following links are responsible for the content of the outside site you are about to access.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

US Consumer Product Safety Commission “Kidd Safety Site”