Share the Road Safety & Resources

Bicycle Safety Overview

For many, bicycling is a healthy, clean, economical, and fun transportation alternative. Bicycling enhances your physical health, mental outlook and overall quality of life.

Since bicycles share the road with motorists and other users of the road system, bikers face a number of hazards. In order to ensure your safety as a bicyclist, please review and practice the safety tips outlined here. They may just save your life!

Be Alert 

To stay safe when you bike, ride defensively and expect the unexpected. A properly fitted helmet should be worn at all times.

Bicycle Safety Tips

Obey The Rules of the Road

Bicyclists are considered vehicle operators; they are required to obey the same rules of the road as other vehicle operators, including obeying traffic signs, signals, and lane markings. View local ordinances for your community.

Ride with traffic

Always ride on the right side of the road. Do not pass motorists on the right side. If you approach an intersection with a right turning lane and intend to continue straight, do not enter the right turn lane. Ride with the through traffic when not in a designated bike lane. When riding with others, ride single file except while passing another cyclist.

Right Turns

Avoid riding in lanes that position you on the right side of a right turning motorist. Move out of the right turn lane if you are not turning right.  Ride in the rightmost lane that goes in the direction that you are traveling.

Left Turns

Make left turns from the left lane. Prepare to move into the left lane by first checking over your shoulder, yielding, signaling and merging across the traffic lane when safe.

Bicyclist Laws & Ordinances

Local laws and ordinances governing bicycle usage on public roadways and in public areas often vary from one community to another. Please check the local laws or ordinances for your area to ensure you are riding safely and abiding by the laws of your community.

Bismarck Bicycle Ordinance

Mandan Bicycle Ordinance

North Dakota Century Code

Motorist Safety Overview: What Every Driver Should Know About Sharing the Road

The League of American Bicyclists and Doordash have released five new dual-language (English and Spanish) Smart Cycling videos with tips for both motorists and bicyclists.  These videos cover topics such as rules of the road, how drivers can avoid common crashes, and what drivers can do to keep bicyclists safe.  Check them out!  

Motorists Should Not Park in Bicycle Lanes

Motorists may make turns across a bicycle lane to enter a parking space or to enter a drive-way, etc., as long as they signal their intention and yield to bicyclists.

When Parked Next to a Bicycle Lane

Motorists should always look for bicyclists before opening their car door.

Watch for bicyclists at all times

  • Bicycles are vehicles and bicyclists may take the entire lane.
  • Scan for bicyclists in traffic and give them the appropriate right-of-way.
  • Children and novice riders can be unpredictable; expect the unexpected.
  • Watch for bicyclists before opening car doors.
  • Before making a turn, look in all directions for bicyclists.
  • Don’t drive after consuming alcohol or other drugs.
  • Don’t drive distracted, which includes the use of cell phones, other hand held devices, or other activities that take your attention away from the road while driving.
  • For maximum visibility, keep your windshield clean and headlights on.

Drive the speed and avoid aggressive maneuvers

  • Obey speed limits and come to a complete stop at stop signs.
  • Allow extra time for bicyclists to cross intersections.
  • Recognize hazards that bicyclists may face and give them space to maneuver.

Pass bicyclists with care

  • Treat bicyclists as you would a slow-moving car. Don’t tailgate; wait until traffic conditions allow you to safely pass the bicyclist.
  • Reduce speed when passing bicyclists and allow at least 3 feet of passing space.
  • Check over your shoulder after passing a bicyclist before moving back into the lane.
  • Don’t honk your horn in close proximity to bicyclists; this behavior often startles them and could cause them to crash.

Safe Routes to School Overview

Safe Routes to School is a federal program that empowers communities to make walking and bicycling to schools a safe and routine activity for all children, including those with disabilities. Goals include making bicycling and walking to school a safer and more appealing transportation alternative.

How is this accomplished? By improving community safety, security, accessibility, and community involvement; improving the physical environment to increase the ability to walk and bicycle to and from schools; and increasing interest in bicycle and pedestrian accommodations throughout a community.

Learn more about Safe Routes to Schools here