Part 1 – Technology

WIESBADEN, GERMANY – People are increasingly biking to commute, exercise, or just for fun. By law, bicycles on the roadway are vehicles with the same rights and responsibilities as motorized vehicles. As you might expect, when a crash occurs between a vehicle and a bike, it’s the cyclist who is most likely to be injured. May is National Bike Safety month and in this series, you’ll learn bicycle safety tips and rules of the road – from properly fitting your helmet to driving defensively and predictably.

A large percentage of accidents can be avoided if motorists and cyclists follow the rules of the road and watch out for one another. In this first article, you’ll find out what the requirements are for the safe use of bicycles, skateboards and kickboards.

Garrison celebrates Bike Safety Month, showcases local rules and education
Bicycle Safety Requirements (Photo Credit: Roland Schedel) VIEW ORIGINAL

To ensure your bicycle fulfills all the German requirements, the following items are mandatory on all bikes weighing more than 11 kilograms:

• Red rear light (max. 60cm above ground)

• Red rear reflector (can be integrated with rear light)

• 2 yellow reflectors on each pedal

• 2 separate brake systems

• 1 ringing or clicking bell

• 1 white front light

• 1 white front reflector (can be integrated with front light)

• 2 yellow reflectors on each wheel or solid white reflective stripe on both sides of each tire

It is recommended that bicyclists wear light-colored clothing or reflective accessories.

Bicyclist and their passengers (ex. kids riding in a trailer or in bike seats) on U.S. Forces installations must wear an approved helmet properly fastened under the chin. For more information on how to properly fit and adjust a helmet, take a look at this infographic from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Helmets must meet the standards set by the American National Standards Institute or the Economic Community of Europe for bicycle helmets. NOTE: As an exception, Local National personnel are not required to wear a safety helmet when riding a bicycle on U.S. military installations in Germany. It is, however, highly recommended that they do so.

The beginning of spring attracts not only cyclists to the countryside, but also kick-scooter riders, roller skaters and skateboarders. All these activities require personal safety awareness.

Remember to:

• Use the right side of paths, trails and sidewalks or other designated areas.

• Not skate or ride skateboards or scooters in traffic.

• Yield to pedestrians.

• Not carry anyone or ride with more than one person on skateboards.

• Not use cell phones or wear audio devices that impede hearing and the detection of impending danger.

Regarding safety apparel, skaters, skateboarders and kick-scooter riders should wear:

• Protective gear according to standards for bicycle helmets.

• Kneepads, elbow pads and wrist guards.

• Light-colored clothing or reflective accessories.

The Wiesbaden Outdoor Recreation will be offering additional biking programs in May to support the "National Bike Month."

More bicycle-related information here:

Does your bike meet German safety requirements?

Outdoor Recreation: bicycle safety and education slides