Bike Safety: Rules of the road on post, off post

By Ms. Jessica Lipari (USAREUR)

As John F. Kennedy once said, “Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike.”

Whether taking a leisurely bike ride with the family, using a bicycle as a means of transportation or riding a bike as part of one’s fitness routine, safety must be a primary concern.

U.S. Army Europe requires that anyone riding a bicycle on a military installation to wear a helmet and have lights and reflectors on their bike.

It is also recommended to wear brightly colored clothing or a safety vest, padded gloves and padded bicycle pants. Proper fitting of all safety equipment, including helmets, is a necessity.

Carrying an emergency safety bag is also recommended. The bag should contain at least a cell phone or money to use a pay phone, insurance card, personal identification card and an emergency contact card.

For more information on properly fitting a bicycle helmet or other bicycle safety, visit the National Highway Traffic Administration website at

When riding your bicycle off-post one must respect the host nation laws and be aware that they can receive fines and points from the German Polizei.

In addition to having lights on the front and back of the bike, it must also be equipped with a bell.

It is only mandatory for children under 13 to wear a helmet while riding their bike in Germany, but studies show that helmets were found to be 85 percent protective against head injury and 88 percent protective against brain injury.

Riding while on a cell phone or texting is forbidden, as well as riding while intoxicated or on drugs. Fines for riding under the influence are hefty in Germany.