Cycling safety tips

  • Stop at red lights. Don't ride through red traffic lights. You may be fined £50
  • Stay central on narrow roads. Try to ride away from the gutter. If the road is too narrow for vehicles to pass you safely, it might be safer to ride towards the middle of the lane to prevent dangerous overtaking by other vehicles
  • Stay away from parked cars. Ideally, keep a door's width away in case the door opens suddenly. Also, try to ride in a straight line past parked cars rather than dodging between them
  • Stay back from HGVs. Lorries and other large vehicles might not be able to see you clearly, so stay well back behind them
  • Always pay attention. Stay focused on what's going on around you so you can see what other road users might do
  • Make eye contact. Try to make eye contact with drivers so you're sure that they have seen you
  • Don't pavement cycle. Don't cycle on the pavement or up a one-way street (unless clearly marked for cyclists)
  • Wear bright clothes. Stay safe by wearing bright clothes during the day and reflective clothing/accessories at night
  • Night lights. Use lights after dark - white at the front and red at the rear. You may be fined £50 if you don't have them
  • Reflectors. Your bike must also be fitted with a red rear reflector, and also amber pedal reflectors if it's manufactured after 1985
  • Signal. Use appropriate hand signals to indicate that you're turning left or right
  • No phones or devices. Don't use a mobile phone or earphones
  • Helmet. Consider wearing a helmet
  • Protect your cycle. Follow these tips to keep your cycle secure
  • Cycle training. Take our online Cycle Skills course and check cycle training in London boroughs

Read and know the full highway code for cyclists.

Using Cycleway safety features

As we've expanded the network of Cycleways across London we've added some new safety features such as two-way cycle lanes and shared bus boarding areas.

These Cycleway features may be unfamiliar to road users, pedestrians and cyclists, so we've created some videos to explain how to use them safely.

Cycling near trams

If you cycle in Croydon you share the road with trams or cross tram tracks. It's safe but keep these tips in mind:

  • Trams are quiet so you may not hear them until they're very close
  • Trams are wider than the tracks they run on, so give them room
  • Take extra care when cycling close to, or crossing the tracks, especially if the rails are wet as they can be slippery
  • Cross the tracks at a right angle where you can so your wheel doesn't go into the gap
  • Keep a sensible distance between you and the tram so you've got time to stop
  • Don't try to overtake a tram

Buying cycle lights

If you're going to ride in the dark, you'll need a light that shows you where you're going, and to make you visible to other road users. Before you buy one, you should consider:

  • Where, and how fast, do you ride? The faster you ride, the more powerful your light will need to be, although roads lit by street lamps will require lights with less power than unlit roads. Lights of around 800 lumens are generally considered appropriate for road riding at night. However, clever lens and reflector designs in some models make it possible to light the road more effectively with less power.
  • Battery life. Pay close attention to the burn times of the lights you are looking to buy, and think about the lengths of rides you are likely to be undertaking. To be safe, add on extra time for unexpected delays like punctures or getting lost.
  • Beam pattern. Your front light should light the road ahead and the verges to the sides, but not blind oncoming traffic.
  • Mounting. Think about where you are going to position your light on your cycle, and check that you have enough space to mount it without obstruction.

Pedicab safety

Pedicabs, or cycle rickshaws, are not regulated by us and can cause disruption to other road users.

Pedicabs may be a common sight in London's West End, but their riders do not need to be licensed, have insurance or be checked by the Criminal Records Bureau.

If taking a pedicab, the London Pedicab Operators Association recommend that you agree a fare before setting off. They also encourage that you check the rider and pedicab have identification.