Bicycle Rules and Safety Tips

Registering Your Bike

Although bicycles are not required to be registered with the Carbondale Police Department, we highly encourage you to do so. This places a complete description of your bicycle on file, along with its serial number, should your bicycle ever be stolen. Returning a recovered bicycle to its owner is greatly facilitated if this information is readily available.

To register your bicycle with the City, you can either complete the online form here or you can bring your bike to the Carbondale Police Department. There, you will provide owner and bicycle information on a bicycle registration form and your bicycle will be checked to ensure that it is properly equipped (reflectors, functioning brakes, etc.). 

Before You Ride

  • Wear a helmet and brightly-colored clothes. Snug fitting clothing minimizes wind resistence and is less likely to get caught in your equipment.
  • Make sure your bicycle is in tip-top condition. Check tires, chains, brakes, and other moving parts. To learn how to check your bicycle, visit a bicycle shop or talk to a more experienced cyclist.
  • Plan your route carefully. This map will help you avoid hazardous routes and contribute to a safer, more pleasant trip.

When Riding

  • Obey all traffic safety laws and rules as if you were driving a car. This includes traffic signs, signals, and pavement markings.
  • Stay as far to the right as practicable, except to avoid hazards such as grates, broken glass, or road debris.
  • Never ride more than two (2) abreast.
  • Watch for signs prohibiting bicycles. Be aware that in Illinois bicycles are prohibited on all interstate highways, freeways, and tollways. Other roads may also prohibit bicycles and are marked as such.

Night Riding

  • You must have the following:
    • A white front light visible for at least 500 feet.
    • A red rear reflector visible from 100 to 600 feet. A red lamp visible from 500 feet may be used in addition to a red reflector.
    • Pedal reflectors visible from the front and rear for 200 feet.
    • Side reflectors visible from 500 feet.
  • You should also wear brightly-colored clothing with reflective stripes for high visibility.

Riding on a Sidewalk

  • Riding bicycles on sidewalks in the City limits is prohibited except in the following cases:
    • In non-business districts, children under the age of 16 may ride on sidewalks on bikes with wheels smaller than 24 inches.
    • Bicycles are permitted on sidepaths officially designated as bikeways.