Bicycle Safety

Protect Your Bicycle From Theft

  • Keep a record of your bicycle serial number, which you can usually find on the frame between the pedals.
  • If your bicycle doesn’t have a serial number, mark your bicycle where your serial number would normally be by engraving your initials or a four-digit number of your choice.
  • Lock your bicycle using a strong, secure lock. The Arlington County Police Department strongly recommends the use of a properly secured U-lock, rather than chains and cables, to deter theft.
  • Secure the bicycle to a bike rack or any other immovable object.
  • Secure both wheels of your bicycle.
  • Register your Bicycle | en Español
  • If your bicycle has been stolen, file an online Incident Report or call the Alternate Reporting Unit at 703-228-4300 and provide the following information about your bicycle:
    • Serial number
    • Proof of ownership (depending on the bicycle’s age, this may not be available)
    • Make
    • Model
    • Color
    • Any identifying marks

Know the Rules of the Road

  • Obey all applicable traffic regulations, signs, signals and markings.
  • Observe all local ordinances pertaining to bicycles.
  • Keep right and ride with traffic, not against it.
  • Ride in a single file when riding with others cyclists.
  • Watch out for drain grates, soft shoulders and other road hazards.
  • Watch out for car doors opening or for cars pulling into traffic.
  • Note that the County requires all bicycle riders aged 14 and younger to wear approved bicycle helmets.
  • Don’t carry passengers or packages that interfere with your vision or control.
  • Never hitch a ride on a truck or other vehicle.
  • Be careful at intersections and when making turns.
  • Use hand signals to indicate turning or stopping.
  • Protect yourself at night with reflectors and lights.
  • Ride a safe bicycle. Have it inspected to ensure it is in good condition.
  • Ride your bike defensively — watch out for the other guy.

Maintain Your Bicycle Properly

  • Lubricate your bicycle’s moving parts periodically.
  • Make certain that the brakes work properly.
  • Tighten all bolts periodically to keep handlebars, seats, pedals and wheels secure.
  • Keep the tires properly inflated.
  • Maintain the proper tension on the chain.
  • Adjust the seat and handlebars for the rider’s height.