Q & A

RIDE SAFE

Remember, safety first and foremost—be safe and be seen, be predictable, and be prepared. We prepared answers to questions we receive most often, but it doesn’t cover everything. So, check out our list of helpful links, which provide more information, sign up for one of our free Bike Safety Classes (they are hosted monthly), and reference our bike safety links for more information on bike safety, rules of the road and how we can help you be a safe, happy, and prepared rider. If you don’t find the information you need, we are here to help. Use our bike comment form to give us feedback or suggestions or send us an email. We want to hear from you!
 Always wear a helmet.
 Ride with traffic, not against it.
 If riding at dusk or at night, wear light colored clothing, use reflectors and lighting systems (front and back). BE VISIBLE!
 Ride defensively. Watch for cars and car doors.
 Use and obey traffic safety signals.
 Give pedestrians the right of way.
 Slow down and look for oncoming traffic before crossing streets.
 Keep your bicycle in good working condition (tires, brakes, chain, etc.)
 Bicycle riders must adhere to the ’rules of the road’ just as drivers of motor vehicles do.

What are the most important things I should know about riding a bike?

Be safe. Safety First! Always obey the rules of the road. Obey all traffic signals, signs, and laws. Get in the mindset of “driving” your bike—not just “riding” your bike. This will help you be a more focused and legally compliant bike rider. Wear a helmet for every ride, even short trips.

Be predictable. Ride so drivers, other cyclists, and pedestrians can see you and predict your movements.

Be alert. Ride defensively and expect the unexpected. Focus on riding and what is around you at all times. Always check behind you; do a quick check before you change lanes.

Be equipped. Always maintain a safe bike, have a front bike light that works and a rear reflector, wear bright colored or reflective clothing so you are visible at all times, and carry tools to fix a flat.

Be courteous. Yield to pedestrians and use hand signals to indicate to motorists your direction of travel.

How can I tell if my helmet is old and I need a new one?

Helmets should be inspected before a ride. Look for cracks or dents in the foam or the foam degrading or crumbling—these are sure signs that it is time for a new helmet. Helmets should last approximately three years, but if you ever crash or drop your helmet, it is strongly recommended you replace it. Check the buckles to ensure a safe fit, and make sure the helmet is properly fitted, covering the forehead and not tilted back. Any local bike shop can check the fit to make sure it is correct or the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute has a good online reference that covers fitting a helmet.

My bike has been in storage—is it safe to ride?

Take your bike to your local bike shop for a quick safety check. They can determine if it is safe to ride or needs any additional maintenance. Ask them for an estimate first before the work is done. They can call you if they discover something major in the inspection process. The cost of a basic tune-up is approximately $50 to $75. Don’t assume just because you haven’t ridden your bike that it is still tuned-up. Grease and chain lubrication can dry over time, and cables can loosen up if bumped or moved around.

What rules should I follow when riding my bike?

Bicyclists need to follow the rules of the road as outlined by the California Vehicle Code, California DMV Bicycle Safety website. An additional reference is our Bike Safety Flyer.

You may be cited for running stop signs, riding at an unsafe speed for conditions, riding on the wrong side of the road or on sidewalks, wearing headphones over both ears while riding, not having legal brakes and lights, etc. Cyclists are required by state law to use front white lights, rear red reflectors, and pedal and side reflectors at night. Additional lights, especially rear red flashers, extra reflectors, and light colored clothing are a good idea. We also recommend that you not talk on a cell phone or text while riding.

While riding your bicycle, obey all traffic laws and wear a bicycle helmet for every ride, even short trips. Helmets can greatly reduce the risk of head injuries and death. In addition, defensive cycling is a key to bicycle safety. According to the California Vehicle Code, every person riding a bicycle on a street or highway has all the rights and responsibilities of the driver of a vehicle.

Can I get a bike citation for not stopping at stops signs and how much is it?

Stanford’s Department of Public Safety does issue bike citations for non-compliance. The estimated citation for not stopping at stop signs is approximately $200+. You can be cited for not stopping at stop signs, not having a front bike light, having both ears covered while riding (e.g., iPod in both ears) and not having your bike registered, among other violations. If cited, you have a one-time option in an 18-month period to attend the free bike safety class/bike citation diversion class in lieu of paying the fine. You can register online for the bike safety class.

Where can I take a class to learn how to ride?

free bike safety classes offer helpful tips and interactive video on how to safely navigate streets and follow the rules of the road. If you need more coaching or lessons on how to actually ride, send us an email and we can provide instructors who can help.

Do you offer classes on bike safety?

free bike safety classes are offered monthly at the Public Safety Police Compound. We co-host these classes with Stanford’s Department of Public Safety. Register online.

I crash on my bike; what do I do?

If it’s an emergency, call 911. For minor injuries, visit your doctor or, if you are a Stanford student, go to Vaden Health Center. Any time you crash at Stanford, you should report the crash to Stanford’s Department of Public Safety. Exchange information with the other parties involved. Remember to tell a colleague or friend that you crashed in case injuries surface later. Remember to wear a helmet for every ride, even short trips.

FREE BICYCLE REGISTRATION

Bring the following to the Department of Police Services:

* Your bicycle and locking mechanism

* Your driver’s license and/or CSUN ID

Complete and print the bicycle registration form at: http://www.csun.edu/sites/default/files/bike-registration-form.pdf or you may complete the form in person.

After you’re done, a registration sticker is affixed to your bicycle, and you are given a card with your registration number on it. The card is yours to keep with you in case you ever need to report your bicycle stolen. For additional security, you can also have your bicycle engraved for free. For more information call: (818) 677-4997.

What if I have an expensive bicycle and I don’t want to put a registration sticker on it?

If your bicycle was an expensive investment you should want to do all you can to protect it and improve the chances of recovering it if ever stolen. A registration sticker can easily be affixed to the underside of your frame and remain unsightly.

How much will the registration cost me?

This is a FREE service provided by the CSUN Department of Police Services.

Who can register a bicycle?

The CSUN bicycle registration program is available to all students, faculty and staff at CSUN.

What guarantees will I receive for registering my bicycle?

There is no guarantee you will not be a victim of bicycle theft. However, having a bicycle registered does improve the chances that your bicycle will be returned to you if it is recovered.

What if my bicycle is stolen and recovered outside of CSUN?

Your sticker will identify the bicycle as being registered through the CSUN Department of Police Services If reported stolen to law enforcement, the bicycle’s serial number can be entered into a database accessible by law enforcement agencies throughout California or by agencies nationwide (depending on the value of the property).

How long will my bicycle be registered?

Your bicycle will be registered for 8 years unless renewed.

F U R T H E R P R O T E C T I O N

The National Bike Registry is the only bike registration system that works across state lines. For a small fee you can register your bike for up to 25 years! If you’ve reported it STOLEN, register your bike for up to six months for only $.99! Visit: http://nationalbikeregistry.com/

BICYCLE THEFT AND WHAT YOU CAN DO TO PREVENT IT

THE FACTS:

*Bicycles are stolen easily because they are often not locked at all.

* The next most common targets are bicycles that are not locked with the right type of protection (i.e., a lightweight cable or small chain that can be easily cut or pried rather than a “U” lock.)

* A registered/engraved bicycle wil improve the chances of it being recovered and returned to you. The Department of Police Services offers FREE bicycle registration.

THE LOCK:

Don’t be fooled by manufacture’s claims of a “burglar-proof lock.” No lock should guarantee 100% security.

Design Features:

Make sure the design of the lock provides functional security. Gimmicks may look cool, but will they really protect your bike? Lightweight cables or chains aren’t going to stop even a novice thief.

Consider a reputable “U-lock” or a combination of locks. Two locks are better than one!

Solid Steel is Strongest:

The ideal steel is hardened against cutting yet maintains flexibility.

Services:

Find out about the lock’s performance.

Does it have a good track record? A warranty? A guarantee? Life- time key registration and prompt key replacement service?

Size:

Do not buy a larger lock than you need. Thieves will use the extra space between your lock and your bike to their advantage.

DO’s & DON’T’s

* Register your bicycle with CSUN’s Bicycle Registration Program and keep a copy of your bicycle’s make, model, and serial number in a safe place.

* Engrave/mark the frame of your bicycle (i.e., name, driver’s license number, or date of birth). DO NOT use all three.

* Secure your bicycle to a designated bicycle rack. University regulations do not allow bicycles in campus buildings or securing your bicycle to trees, sign posts, hand railings, etc.

* If you believe your bicycle was stolen on campus report it to the university police department as soon as possible!

* Report suspicious persons observed near the bicycle racks to university police by calling: (818) 677-2111.

* Don’t lock your bike to itself (the front wheel locked to the frame). If a thief wants your bike, it can be easily lifted and carried away.

* Don’t lock just the tire. The rest of the bike can still be removed.

* Don’t lock your bike to anything posted as illegal or to items which can be easily cut or broken, such as a chain link fence.

* Don’t lock your bike in the same location all the time. A thief may notice the pattern and target your bike.

* Don’t make it easy! Take the time to properly lock your bike each and every time.

* Matador Bicycle Compound access activation takes between 24-48 hours.

What is an eBike?

An electric bicycle, e-bike or booster bike is one with an electric motor. There are many types of e-bikes from those that only have a small motor to assist the rider’s pedal-power e.g. pedelecs to more powerful e-bikes that do not need to be pedalled at all i.e. power on demand unless the rider wishes.

What is an electric or battery powered scooter?

An electric scooter is a small platform with two or more wheels that is propelled by an electric motor. Besides the motor the rider can also propel the electric scooter forward by pushing off the ground.

What is the law on eBikes, pedelecs or battery powered scooters?

Regardless of the type of bike, its speed or whether it requires a push start, the rules are as follows:

• If it can be powered by mechanical or electrical power alone (i.e. it can continue without you pedalling or scooting it) then it is considered to be a ‘mechanically propelled vehicle’ (MPV).

• Under road traffic law if an MPV is used in a public place it is subject to all of the regulatory controls that apply to other vehicles i.e. it must be roadworthy, registered, taxed and insured.

• The driver of the vehicle must hold the appropriate driving licence and is obliged to wear a crash helmet.

What is a ‘mechanically propelled vehicle (MPV)’?

Under the Road Traffic Act 1961 at Section 3(1) (a) and (b) it is defined as ‘a vehicle intended or adapted for propulsion by mechanical means, including;(a) a bicycle or tricycle with an attachment for propelling it by mechanical power, whether or not the attachment is being used,(b) a vehicle the means of propulsion of which is electrical or partly electrical and partly mechanical, but not including a tramcar or other vehicle running on permanent rails.’

How do I know if my eBike is classed as an MPV?

Refer to the MPV definition above including the legal definition. If you are still unsure seek legal advice. We do not assess vehicles on a case by case basis to ascertain whether they are MPVs or not. It is the legal obligation of the vehicle owner to ensure that their vehicle complies with all of the regulations applicable to the category of vehicle concerned.

How can I register my eBike?

You will need to contact Revenue . In order to register an eBike or battery scooter it will need an EC cert of conformity (CoC) from the manufacturer.

How can an eBike or scooter be registered if it does not have a CoC?

If the manufacturer cannot supply a COC this means your eBike or scooter can only be used on private property or purpose-built tracks.

Do eBikes or scooters require roadworthiness test?

Currently no. However under road traffic law it is the owner and driver’s responsibility to ensure their vehicle is kept in a roadworthy condition at all times when used in a public place. All parts and equipment must be in good working order. Failure to do so can result in prosecution.

What category vehicle is pedelec, motor assisted bike or scooter?

L1e to L7e categories cover a wide range of two, three and four wheeled vehicle types.

Do I need a licence for an eBike or battery scooter?

This depends on whether the vehicle is classified as an MPV as above. If it is an MPV contact our Licensing Section on 1890 41 61 41 or 096 25000.

Is it compulsory to wear helmets, visors and goggles when riding motor cycles?

Yes. Both rider and pillion passengers must wear helmets while on a public road under UNECE Regulation 22.05 and also S.I. No. 360 of 1978.

Is it legal for children to ride eBikes or battery scooters on a public road?

This depends on whether the bike or scooter in question is an MPV or not. It is illegal for persons under the age of 16 to ride an MPV in a public place. If the bike is not an MPV there is no law against children riding it in a public place. We strongly recommend that young children should always be supervised if riding in a public place.

Are engine or converter kits legal on push bikes and scooters?

There is no law against them however it is important to note that the addition of the engine may result in your bike being treated as an MPV which means it will have to be roadworthy, registered, taxed, insured etc. In addition any conversion must be carried out to an appropriate standard so as not to render the vehicle unroadworthy, unsafe or likely to cause an incident.

Does an electric skateboard with design speed less than 40 km/h require tax, insurance etc.?

Regardless of the type of vehicle if it can operate on mechanical or electrical power alone – even if you initially have to pedal, push or scoot it to get it going – then it is considered to be a mechanically propelled vehicle (MPV). Under Road Traffic law if an MPV is used in a public place it is subject to all of the regulatory controls that apply to other vehicles i.e. it must be roadworthy, registered, taxed and insured. The driver of the vehicle must hold the appropriate driving licence and is obliged to wear a crash helmet.

Is it legal to use eco-vehicles on cycle lanes on public roads e.g. bicycles, longboards or online skates?

You will need to contact your local council or local authority where you intend to travel as some of them have introduced local byelaws prohibiting the use of eco-vehicles in some designated areas.

Are electric kick scooters permitted for use in Ireland?

We are carrying out research for the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) to see how scooters are dealt with in other EU member states. Once this is compiled it will be shared with the department for their review before being published.

Are electric scooters and skateboards with a maximum design speed of 15-20 km/h classed as road vehicles?

If they can be powered by mechanical or electrical power alone i.e. can go without you pedalling or scooting it, then they are considered to be a mechanically propelled vehicle (MPV). See extract below;Irish Law (standards of vehicles for use on Irish roads) and Licensing Rules: The Road Traffic Act 1961 defines a ‘mechanically propelled vehicle’ as:“means, subject to subsection (2) of this section, a vehicle intended or adapted for propulsion by mechanical means, including-a bicycle or tricycle with an attachment for propelling it by mechanical power, whether or not the attachment is being used,a vehicle the means of propulsion of which is electrical or partly electrical and partly mechanical,but not including a tramcar or other vehicle running on permanent rails;”

Section 38 of the Road Traffic Act 1961 specifies that a person shall not drive a mechanically propelled vehicle in a public place unless they are in possession of a driving licencing appropriate to that vehicle.

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