Bicycle Safety

Awareness
Children and teens can be extremely daring. Children may be learning to ride two-wheeled bikes and/or using training wheels, but Big Wheels, skateboards, in-line skates, scooters, and roller skates can be dangerous. With these, children can speed down sidewalks, behind parked cars, and into streets in a flash. Teach children proper safety rules and remind them to wear protective pads and helmets during all of these activities.

Discuss such places as parks, school grounds, bike trails, and sidewalks when it comes to safe places to ride you bike, skateboard, roller skates, and in-line skates. You should not ride or skate in the street unless there is very little traffic and an adult is watching you closely. If you are riding or skating on the street with an adult, pay attention to traffic. Never ride or skate on busy roads or driveways. Just because you can see the driver of a car does not mean that the driver can see you.

Safety
If you ride bikes or other things on wheels, your helmet should be on your head with the chin straps fastened. The reasoning is that helmets protect your brain, the part of your body that lets you make good decisions and grow strong and healthy. Always wear bright colors during daylight and reflective material after dark. Use Velcro, metal, or rubber bands to keep loose pant legs out of the chain. It is not a good idea to give your friend a ride on your bike. One to a bike is the only safe way to ride. Take turns if you need to. Utilize the guide to guarantee a proper fitting helmet.

Do not ride your bike after dark. Drivers cannot see you at night, so save that bike ride for tomorrow during the day.

Illinois Vehicle Laws
State laws that bicyclists must obey are:
  • All traffic regulations must be obeyed. Including traffic signs, signals, markings and lights.
  • Ride with the flow of traffic.
  • Ride as close as practical to the right hand curb or edge. Exceptions are:
    • When overtaking and passing another vehicle.
    • When preparing for a left turn.
    • When people, animals, parked cars or other objects make traveling unsafe.
    • When narrow lane widths do not provide sufficient room for a motor vehicle and bicycle to share the lane. Ride single file on highways. Riding two or more abreast is permitted on paths or parts of highways exclusively for bike use.
Village Ordinance
The village laws require bicyclists to wear lights and reflectors. Every bicycle in use between sunset and sunrise should be equipped with:
  • One lighted lamp exhibiting a white light visible from a distance of 500 feet in front and one lighted lamp exhibiting a red light or one reflector visible from a distance of 500 feet to the ear.
  • Bicycles must be equipped with side reflectors both on the bicycle and the rims of the wheels.
Another piece of equipment a bicycle should have it a bell or a horn that can be heard from 100 feet. The equipment must not be a gong, siren, or mechanical whistle. While riding on sidewalks a bicyclist shall yield the right of way to pedestrians and give a signal before overtaking and passing. The bicyclist shall give the right of way to all passing pedestrians and motors when emerging from an alley. Parking is to be in a location that doesn't impede traffic of all types.

It is a parental responsibility to:
  • Not authorize or knowingly permit any such child or ward to violate any provisions of this article.
  • See that a bicycle ridden by a child or ward under 14 complies with all equipment and licensing sections village ordinance.

​Licensing


Every resident of the village who owns or operates a bicycle on any street or bicycle within the village shall obtain a permanent bicycle license. Licenses are not transferable but they are free and can be obtained from the Niles Police Department. The licenses should be on the post of the bike, underneath the seat.