Bike Safety & Night Time Visibility

With the increased number of recreational bicyclists on Daniel Island, now is the perfect time to review bicycle safety and etiquette with your children and teenagers. Whether they are new cyclists out on their own for the first time or seasoned ones, bicycle safety and proper bike etiquette are important things to always keep in mind.

Biking Safety Tips:

  • Ride your bike responsibly. All States require bicyclists on the roadway to follow the same rules and responsibilities as motorists.
  • Bike safety begins with putting on a helmet with a proper fit so your helmet can best protect you.
  • Bicycles shall not be operated in a reckless manner. Any person, adult or child, who is permitted to ride a bicycle on a sidewalk must — at all times — ride the bicycle with due care and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians using the sidewalk.
  • Be focused and alert to the road and all traffic around you and anticipate what others may do, before they do it.
  • Ride with the flow, in the same direction as traffic.
  • Obey street signs, signals, and road markings, just as if you were in a vehicle.
  • Assume the other person doesn’t see you or know that you may be coming up from in front of, but particularly from behind them. If your bike has a bell or a horn on it – be sure and use it from a good distance before approaching the pedestrian and then maybe again as you get closer if it appears that they did not notice you the first time, you can use it once again as you are getting closer. You can also “verbally” announce that you are approaching them by saying “Good Morning or Good Afternoon Bicycle Approaching”.
  • No texting, listening to music or using anything that distracts you by taking your eyes and ears or your mind off the road and traffic.
  • City of Charleston Ordinance regarding riding on sidewalks:
    • (a)No person shall ride or operate a bicycle upon any sidewalk in the city except:
      • (1)Children the age of twelve (12) and under may ride a bicycle having a wheel diameter of twenty-four (24) inches or less on any sidewalk except as otherwise herein prohibited.
      • (2)Where the sidewalk is designated by the traffic and transportation department as a shared-use path measuring at least eight (8) feet in width.
      • (3)Where the adjacent highway has a posted speed limit of thirty-five (35) miles per hour or more, adults and children may ride a bicycle on the adjacent sidewalk except as otherwise herein prohibited or if there is a dedicated bicycle lane on the adjacent highway.

Nighttime Safety Tips:

  • Always use a white front light, red rear light or reflector and reflective tape
    • SC State Law regarding lamps & reflectors on bicycles:
      • A bicycle when in use at nighttime must be equipped with a lamp on the front which must emit a white light visible from a distance of at least five hundred feet to the front and with a red reflector on the rear that must be visible from all distances from fifty feet to three hundred feet to the rear when directly in front of the lawful upper beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle. A lamp emitting a red light visible from a distance of five hundred feet to the rear may be used in addition to the red reflector.
  • Wear bright/light colored clothing – do not wear dark clothing
  • Wear reflective gear on your helmet, shoes or clothes

This City of Charleston Bike Rules pamphlet is a great tool to use when talking to your kids about proper biking etiquette.

It is important that both pedestrians and cyclists be aware of their surroundings and abide by the rules of the road for everyone’s safety and enjoyment. Thank you and stay safe!