Two-Wheel Vehicle Safety

With the price of gasoline rising and the growth in interest in the impact of large vehicle emissions on the environment, many people in the University of Georgia community are switching to alternate modes of transportation. Examples of these are bicycles, mopeds, and motorcycles. As with anything, there are issues related to all of these options that a person needs to be aware of.

Travel on Two Wheels (PDF)


General Safety

  • The seat should be at a comfortable height.
  • Check the brakes to ensure that they open and close together and operate smoothly. Good brakes can save your life!
  • Your bicycle should have reflectors aimed straight to the front and back.
  • Never ride a bicycle at night without a light.
  • Adjust your handle bars for comfort and maneuverability.
  • Check tire pressure and inflate to recommended maximum pressure before every ride.
  • Always use all of your senses when riding a bicycle. Watch for pedestrians and other vehicles—they may not always see you. Avoiding distractions such as cell phone usage, headphones, etc. greatly increases the safety of the rider and others.
  • Ride bicycles on roadways, not on sidewalks. This reduces the likelihood of riders injuring themselves or pedestrians.
  • When riding on the roadway, ride in the same direction as motor vehicle traffic and observe all traffic safety laws and signs.
  • When riding at night, use lights, reflectors, and bright or reflective clothing so others can see you.
  • Avoid carrying items that obstruct your view or prevent you from being able to keep your hands on the handlebars.
  • Avoid clinging to other motor vehicles when riding.
  • Wear helmets and appropriate safety gear.
  • When parking your bicycle, make sure you use a high-quality lock and secure your bike to appropriate bicycle racks placed by the University. Avoiding poorly-lit / secluded areas to store your bike is one of the best ways to prevent bike thefts.
  • Maintain your bicycle in good, working condition. Making sure you check the brakes, tires, chain, etc. can help prevent bicycle accidents.

 Hand signals

  • STOP: To signal to other motorist your intention to stop, extend your left hand downward and your palm facing backward.
  • Left Turn: To signal to other motorist your intention to turn left extend your left arm & hand straight out.
  • Turn Right: To signal to other motorist your intention to turn right, extend your left arm & position the hand upright.

Know the law

  • Ga. Code 40-6-291. All laws that apply to motorist on the roadway apply to all bicyclists.
  • Ga. Code 40-6-293. No person riding upon a bicycle shall attach himself to any vehicle upon the road way.
  • Ga. Code 40-6-294. Every person riding a bicycle upon the roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practical, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.

Securing your bicycle

Locks are an effective tool for securing your bicycle.
When used properly locks are more than 99% effective.

Motorcycle / Moped Safety

Check your vehicle every time before riding

  • Perform TCLOCK Inspection
  • Tires
  • Controls
  • Lights
  • Oils and Fluids
  • Chassis and Chains
  • Kickstand

General Safety Tips

  • Fill your fuel tank slowly and do not overfill.
  • Allow your engine to run slowly for several minutes so the oil reaches all the surfaces it needs to lubricate.
  • Shift your transmission to neutral before starting your motorcycle or moped.
  • Read the owner’s manual before operating your motorcycle or moped.

Safety Equipment

  • Required by law
  • Helmets that are properly worn (bicycle helmets are not good enough)
  • Eye protection or Windshield (motorcycle only)

Georgia laws related to motorcycles and mopeds

  • 40-1-1 (28) Definition of a Moped
    • 3.05 cubic inches (50 cubic centimeters) or less
    • Exceeds 30 mph on level road surface
    • Does not require clutching or shifting
    • If your vehicle exceeds any of these then it is a motorcycle.
  • 40-2-20 Registration Requirements
    • Only motorcycles need to be registered and have tags
  • 40-6-10 Insurance Requirements
  • 40-6-11 Only motorcycles need insurance
  • 40-6-351 License (permit) required to operate moped
    • In Georgia, you must have a valid motorcycle license to operate a motorcycle, and you must have some type of valid license to operate a moped
  • 40-6-350 Motorcycle laws apply to mopeds
  • 40-6-312 Operations motorcycles on roadways laned for traffic
    • (B) Do not overtake and pass in the same lane occupied by the vehicle being overtaken
    • (C) Do not operate between lanes of traffic
  • 40-6-144 Driving on Sidewalk
    • Do not drive on the sidewalk

For true emergencies please Dial 911 immediately


For non-emergencies we can be reached at 706-542-2200