Bicycle Safety Tips

Play it safe:

Cyclists are reminded that in Florida, the bicycle is legally defined as a vehicle. Bicyclists have the same rights to the roadways, and must obey the same traffic laws as other vehicles. At University of Central Florida, cyclists may legally ride on sidewalks, provided that pedestrians are given right-of-way and that an audible signal is given before overtaking and passing pedestrians.

Wear a helmet:

Nearly 75% of all bicycle related deaths are the result of head injuries. Helmets are also required for all riders under the age of 16 in the State of Florida.

Use a rearview mirror

Rearview mirrors can help you to keep track of traffic approaching from behind. Mirrors that attach to glasses or a helmet allow for scanning by turning your head from side to side.

Night riding - make yourself visible.

Nearly 60% of all adult fatal bicycle accidents in Florida occur during twilight and nighttime hours, even though less than 3% of bicycle usage takes place during that time period. The traffic statutes require both front and rear lights for bicycles being used at night. Officer can issue citations for not having the proper equipment. Check with the UCF Spoke Council Office in the Student Union to see if they have any free bicycle lights available.

Observe traffic laws, signs and signals. Bicycles must ride with the flow of traffic, not against it. Bicycles are allowed on the sidewalks and pathways, but must yield to pedestrians.

Two common causes of bicycle accidents are the failure to yield the right-of-way, and riding against traffic. Yield the right-of-way when required and even when not technically required - a two ton motor vehicle can devastate both the rider and the bicycle. Bicycles are required to ride in the lane closest to the side of the roadway and with the flow of traffic. The normal scanning patterns of other vehicle operators may not account for your coming from the wrong way, and the reaction time of cyclist and motorist is dramatically reduced when cyclists are riding against the normal traffic flow.

Bicycle parking

Bicycles are a great way to get around on campus, but parking can be difficult. There are racks for parking located in the most popular areas, but they fill up fast. Locking your bicycle to a tree, bench, pole, railing or any other structures is prohibited and your bike could be impounded. The lock will be cut and there may be a cost associated with getting it out of impound. The Student Government Association also has designated racks for their Bike Share program. Locking your bike in the reserved racks could also result in it being impounded.

Securing your bicycle

Bicycles are a popular target for thieves. We recommend a locking system with a strong cable or the U-bolt style lock. They are available at most large retailers in the area. By policy, your bicycle is supposed to be registered with parking services and receive a free decal that will track directly back to you if your bike is found abandoned or gets stolen. Registering the serial number in the UCF Police Department Property Registration System is also encouraged. This is a free services as well, please visit: https://secure.police.ucf.edu/PropertyReg/

Abandoned bicycles are also collected by the police department. If you have not seen your bike in a while and it was not in the rack where you think you parked it, check with us to see if we have it. (407)823-5980 or (407)823-6576.