The Department of Public Safety is charged with enforcing the USC Bicycle Policy as set forth in the SCampus. Each year many students fall victim to accidents and having their bicycle stolen. Most thefts can be prevented if the bicycle was properly secured to one of the more than 4500 bicycle parking spaces throughout campus. Many students make the mistake of leaving their bicycle freestanding with the lock secured only to the bicycle itself. In order to reduce your chances of being a victim please review the following information:

Things you must have when riding your bike

  • A bike light when riding at night.
  • Registration is required here at the university. Registration and licencing is free at the DPS Office. Click here to register your bicycle.
  • Working brakes - get new pads and adjustments at any bike shop.
  • Helmet - California law requires all bicyclists under 18 years of age to wear a bike helmet when riding on all streets, bikeways, public paths, and trails (Section 21212 CVC). Persons 18 years or older are highly encouraged to wear a bike helmet while riding their bicycles. Helmets are available at any bike shop.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents

Unfortunately, every year some of our community members are involved in bicycle collisions. The Department of Public Safety is committed to minimizing the number of accidents involving bicyclists. The following list includes the most common factors in bicycle accidents in the USC community.

  • Bicycle rider using the wrong side of roadAuto driver making unsafe left or right turn
  • Bicyclist riding from driveway or sidewalk into path of car
  • Auto driver opening door as bicycle passes
  • Bicycle rider weaving, leaving edge of road or bike lane
  • Bicyclist making unsafe left turn

Rules to keep in mind when riding at USC
Bicycle riders must follow the same rules of the road as automobile drivers and have the same rights. Example: Cars must stop at a stop sign and bicycles must stop at a stop sign. Always ride with traffic. Bicyclists must travel in the same direction as cars with the flow of traffic, and not on the sidewalk when possible.

  • Ride predictably; whether on a roadway or in the middle of the campus, maintain a steady course and speed.
  • Obey all traffic laws. Yes, you must STOP at intersections. Pedestrians have the right of way.
  • Pay attention to your surroundings; warn pedestrians or fellow riders when you are passing them, "On Your Left!" Likewise, pedestrians should warn bicyclists when they place them in danger. You should also warn drivers if they are placing you in danger with their driving - a quick yell to get their attention should suffice.
  • Take extra care when passing parking lot exits.
  • When moving slower than the normal traffic speed, stay near the right edge of the road, except:
  1. When passing another bicycle or vehicle.
  2. When getting ready to turn left.
  3. When passing a parked car or to avoid other objects.
  4. When on a one-way road, two lanes or wider. Then bicyclists may ride near either the left or right side.
  • Whenever there is a bike lane, you must use it if you are moving slower than normal traffic speed. Leave the lane only:
  1. When necessary to pass another bicycle, vehicle or pedestrian.
  2. When getting ready to turn left.
  3. When necessary to avoid parked cars or other objects.
  • Keep at least one hand on the handlebars. Bicyclists must ride on a permanently attached seat. Carry no passengers unless there is a separate seat.
  • A passenger must ride on a separate seat - no riders on handlebars. A youngster 4 years or younger, or weighing 40 pounds or less, must ride on a seat which holds the child in place and protects the youngster from moving parts. The child must also wear an approved helmet.
  • Give proper hand signals when turning or stopping. Correct signals are:
  1. Left turn - Left arm straight out pointing left.
  2. Right turn - Left arm pointed straight up, or right arm straight out pointing right.
  3. Stop - Left arm pointed straight down.
  • Before leaving a lane, give a hand signal. Leave the lane only when safe to do so.
  • Never hitch rides by hanging onto or attaching your bicycle to a moving vehicle.
  • Headphones covering both ears may not be worn while operating a bicycle.

Identifying Your Bicycle
Always keep a record of your bicycle registration so that if your bike is stolen, the following information will be available for the police report: registration/tag number, make, model, serial number, frame/size, color, and number of speeds. If unlicensed bikes are lost or stolen, they have little chance of being returned to their owners! Engrave your driver's license number on the frame and wheel rims of your bike.

Locking Your Bike
  • Use a U-lock to secure your bike. When possible, lock at least your front wheel and frame to a bike rack or other stationary object. Try not to leave your bike locked "free standing." A thief can easily walk away with the bike and remove the lock later.
  • Consider using a space reduction device such as "Bad Bones" on your U-lock to make it harder for a thief to use a pry bar to remove the lock.
  • Don't park your bike in a doorway, on stairs or blocking any handicapped access. Use a bike rack. Violating bikes will be impounded.

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