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Bike Safety

University of Maryland is a Bike Friendly University where bikers and drivers safely share the road. During the month of October we promote safe cycling and offer classes and events.

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Bicyclists – Ride Smarter

  • Stop Means Stop: Obey traffic signals and stop signs. Always yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
  • Ride On the Road: Bicycles are vehicles and vehicles belong on the road.
  • Sidewalks are for Pedestrians: Pedestrian are unpredictable and chances of a crash are high.
  • Be Predictable: Make your intentions clear to everyone on the road. Don’t swerve between cars and signal at all turns.

Motorist - Drive Safer

  • Bicycles are Vehicles Too: The law says bicycles are vehicles and they are allowed to ride in the middle of the travel lane.
  • Be Patient: The campus speed limit is 20mph so slow down and be patient. Remember that bicycles mean less traffic.
  • Give Them Space: Give bicyclists at least 3 feet of space when passing – don’t try to squeeze past them.
  • Be Predictable: Abrupt turns can cause crashes. Always look for bicyclists and use turn signals.

Riding at Night

It is important for bicyclists to be able to see and been seen when riding at night! If you are riding your bicycle after dark your safety depends on other road users’ ability to see you. Maryland state law requires your bike to have, at a minimum, a front white light visible from at least 100’ and a rear red reflector. In addition to this, BikeUMD recommends a rear flashing-red light and, if possible, additional reflective clothing or bike reflectors. Light sets are available for purchase from the DOTS office in Regents Drive Garage and the RecWell Bike Shop.


In the state of Maryland, helmets are not required for bicycle riders 16 years of age or older. However, BikeUMD recommends that all people, regardless of age, wear a helmet when they bike. Helmets can be purchased from the DOTS office at Regents Garage or from the RecWell Bike Shop for a discounted rate of $20 RecWell Bike Shop Mechanics are trained to help fit and adjust helmets, so come on by the Shop if you want some help! It is recommended that you replace your helmet every five years. Immediately replace your helmet if it has sustained impact in a fall or collision, or if it has visible cracks or major dents.

Same Roads Same Rules

Same Roads, Same Rules is a coordinated outreach effort aimed at both bicyclists and motorists. It is about coexisting in a shared space, respecting each other as human beings, using common sense and keeping yourself and others safe by following a common set of rules. With the number of cyclists on campus increasing in recent years and with our bikeshare system on campus, bicyclists and motorists alike need to know how to safely interact with each other.

image of biking at night
Proper way to wear a helmet
bike safety booklet
Grab one from the Transportation Services office