Bike Safety Information
Follow Traffic Signs & Pavement Markings
Stony Brook University encourages students, faculty, staff and visitors to exercise caution while riding bikes at the University. It is important that cyclists follow traffic signs, lane markings and stay on bike paths whenever possible. When approaching a crosswalk or intersection, a cyclist must come to a complete stop before proceeding. While using a bike on a roadway, cyclists must adhere to all traffic signs and markings, including stop signs, yield signs, traffic lights and lane markings.
Wear a Helmet
All Wolf Ride Bike Share users must wear a helmet while riding and are specifically encouraged to wear a Snell, CPSC, ANSI or ASTM approved helmet that has been properly sized, fitted and fastened, according to the manufacturers’ instructions. Wearing such a properly sized, fitted and fastened helmet while riding may protect the user against an injury, and/or may lessen the severity of an injury, caused by an impact to the head.
In addition to wearing a helmet, users should exercise caution while operating a bicycle. The University encourages cyclists to also wear proper safety gear, including knee and elbow pads as well as wrist guards to lessen the severity of injuries. While riding, cyclists should be on the lookout for hazards such as roadway potholes, broken glass, loose gravel, water hazards, leaves and loose debris.
Use Properly Equipped Bikes & Reflective Gear
New York State Law requires cyclists to utilize bikes are equipped with:
- Reflective devices on front & rear wheels, sides & pedals.
- When purchased new or utilized at night, bikes must have reflective tires, or wide-angle, spoke-mounted reflectors. Reflectors must be colorless or amber for front wheels and colorless or red for rear wheels.
- A working bell, horn or other device that can be heard at least 100 feet away. Sirens and whistles are not permitted.
- A brake, which is capable of making the tires skid on dry, level pavement.
- Bicycles utilized between a half-hour after sunset and a half-hour before sunrise must be equipped with a white front headlight visible in darkness for at least 500 feet, and a red or amber tail light visible for at least 300 feet.
It is the responsibility of the cyclist to ensure that their bike is fit for riding, prior to utilizing it, and complies with New York State Law. When riding at night, cyclists should wear bright colored clothing, preferably neon, fluorescent or other bright colors. Whenever possible, cyclists should use well-lit paths and avoid high traffic roadways.
Obey The Law
Cyclists may not have their bicycles towed by other bicycles and/or motor vehicles. Users should always ride a bike with one hand on the handlebars and should carry books/other items in a basket, bicycle carrier or backpack. New York State Law requires cyclists to ride as close to the right side of the road, in the same direction as other vehicles. While riding, cyclists should also follow these additional safety precautions:
- Cyclists should be predictable and ride in a straight line, not in and out of cars, and signal moves to others.
- Cyclists should use hand signals. New York State Law requires the use of hand signals to tell motorists, other cyclists and pedestrians. Riders should signal as a matter of law, of courtesy and of self-protection.
- Cyclists should look before turning. When turning left or right, cyclists should always look behind for a break in traffic and then signal before making the turn.
- Cyclists should choose the best way to turn left. There are two choices:
- Like an automobile: signal to move into the left turn lane and if clear, then turn left.
- Like a pedestrian: ride straight to the far side crosswalk and then walk the bike across
Bicycles shall not be ridden into University buildings and classrooms, and shall be stored in a manner that does not create an obstruction, trip hazard or damage to University property. University bike racks are located throughout campus for cyclists to secure their bike.
Use of Electronics
In order to prevent accidents from inattentive riding, the University prohibits texting, talking on the phone and wearing of headphones while riding. Such distractions can cause a cyclist to lose focus and/or could endanger the cyclist or those in the vicinity. Cyclists should stop riding their bicycle when sending or receiving a cell phone call or text message. It is the responsibility of the cyclist to secure all electronic devices properly before operating a bicycle, the University is not responsible for damage caused to any electronic devices.
Wolf Ride Bike Share
SBU Wolf Ride Bike Share is the University's bike share system that provides students, faculty, staff and visitors with a sustainable, healthy transportation alternative. For more information on Wolf Ride Bike Share and general safety related information, please see the following: