Bicycle Safety Tips

Illinois Bicycle Rules of the Road
Illinois Bicycle Safety Quiz
Champaign-Urbana Bicycle Map
CU Safe Routes to School Project


  • When riding your bicycle on Illinois roadways, you must follow the same traffic laws that apply to motorists. Obey all traffic lights, stop signs, lane markings and other traffic signals.
  • Ride with traffic in the same direction, not against traffic. Riding in the opposite direction of traffic is both dangerous and against the law.
  • Use bike lanes, where provided. If a bike lane ends, carefully merge into a traffic lane.
  • Ride your bike as close to the right edge of the road as practical.
  • Stay alert to car doors that may open unexpectedly and for cars pulling out in front of you.
  • Bicyclists are required to use hand signals to tell those around them how you plan to move next. Hand signal for turning left, right and for slowing/stopping.
  • Motorists are required by law to allow at least 3 feet of space between them and a bicyclist when passing.
  • Always wear bright clothing, day or night. Wear reflective clothing, add reflective tape, or carry a flashing light when riding at night.
  • If traffic is heavy, walk your bike through intersections instead of riding.
  • During night riding, Illinois law requires that bikes have a front light that emits white light and that can be seen from a distance of up to 500 feet; and have a rear red reflector that is visible from up to 600 feet when in front of a car’s headlights.
  • Always wear a properly fitted bike helmet every time you ride to protect yourself from injury, in case of an accident.
  • If riding with other cyclists, always ride in a single file.
  • Never wear headphones when riding your bike. Being able to hear traffic can help you avoid dangerous situations.
  • Be sure to secure your bike’s information in the event of theft. Register your bike or keep your bicycle’s serial number, manufacturer, model, and frame details stored in a safe place.
  • If you have received a City Ordinance Violation for a bike violation, you have a few options to settle the case, including participating in the City’s Bicycle Diversion Program, designed to teach bicycle safety and gain compliance to laws regulating movement of bicycles. Click here for more.