Approved gear, street smarts a must for bicyclists

With only a few months left before winter sets in, many community members will continue to ride their bicycles, scooters and skateboards through summer and fall.
In addition, many children will be riding their own sets of wheels to and from school, starting Aug. 30.

It’s important for everyone who rides wheeled objects to be aware of the risk involved, and make safety a priority.

In 2008, 716 cyclists were killed and an additional 52,000 were injured in traffic crashes in the U.S., according to the National Highway Traffic Administration.
This is why it is extremely important to pay attention while riding a bicycle, skateboard or scooter along roadways, both on and off post.

Fasten that helmet

On post, it is a requirement for a cyclist to wear an approved helmet fastened under the chin, according to Army Europe Regulation 190-1.

These helmets save lives and are just as important as wearing a seat belt while in a moving vehicle.

The regulation also requires the bike to have working brakes, two reflectors mounted 180 degrees apart on the spokes and additional reflectors on the bicycle pedals.
When riding a bike when it is dark, it is a requirement to have a headlight that emits a white light and a taillight that emits a red light. In addition, cyclists should wear light-colored clothing or reflective accessories.

Use paths, sidewalks, or parts of the road marked for bicyclist use when available, and always stay as far to the right of the road as possible.

Keep both hands on the bicycle at all times, stay with the flow of traffic, and obey all traffic laws.

All bicycle passengers should be in an approved second seat.

Skateboards, skates, scooters

While riding skateboards or kick-scooters, or while on skates, riders must wear kneepads, elbow pads and wrist guards, in addition to an approved helmet fastened under the chin and light-colored clothing or reflective accessories.  
Use the right side sidewalks or other designated safe riding areas; never ride in or out of traffic, and always yield to pedestrians. Passengers are not allowed on skateboards and scooters.

No cell phones

Never use your cell phone while operating any wheeled objects and keep all objects you are carrying with you in a backpack.

Be aware of your surroundings, especially when roadways and traffic are involved.
Enjoy the remainder of summer and remember to remind your neighbors to wear proper protective equipment and follow the above rules; it’s the law.

For more information on bicycle and skateboard installation rules, see AER 190-1 at