A bicycle is often the first vehicle a person gets, usually as a child. With a bicycle, a child has access to roads where he or she may have walked or crossed before. Now as a bicyclist, the child must be aware of, and follow, a new set of laws and regulations. While bicyclists may complain that drivers do not "see" them on the road, drivers complain that bicyclists ignore safety rules and traffic laws. All roadway users have a duty to share the road.
In New York in 2017, there were more than 6,000 bicycle crashes and 49 fatalities. In more than half of these crashes, the bicyclist was not wearing a helmet. Thirty-three of those bicyclists who were killed were not wearing proper headgear.
Motorists must be alert to the presence of cyclists and drive responsibly to avoid colliding with them. A cyclist should not assume that the motorist has seen them. It is the responsibility of each bicycle user to know and follow the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law whenever operating a bicycle. Your city, town or county may also have local bicycle ordinances.
The GTSC funds community partners and other safety organizations across New York State to conduct bicycle safety clinics. These events typically involve a skills course (“bike rodeo”), helmet fitting and/or distribution of bike helmets and educational programs teaching riders about bicycle laws.
May is National Bicycle Safety Month. During the first week of the month, national Walk and Bike to School is celebrated. The GTSC promotes and participates in these events and encourages its bike safety partners statewide to consider supporting a bike safety program at a school in their region. In New York in 2018, a total of 43 events were held.
The Walk-Bike New York Symposium attracts more than 150 local, state, federal and private agency professionals devoted to building strong communities where people can safely and comfortably walk and bike. The next Walk-Bike New York Symposium is September 16-18, 2024 at the DoubleTree in Binghamton, NY.
Stay Informed Safety Resources and Information
Highway Safety Program Representative
Governor's Traffic Safety Committee
New York State Department of Motor Vehicles
6 Empire State Plaza, Room 410B
Albany, NY 12228