Available for implementation anywhere in the USA and Canada. Contact us for details.
Did you receive a traffic ticket while riding your bike? Would like to have your fine waived and your citation dismissed?
Since July of 2010, we have been offering an option to cyclists that has been available to drivers for years – having a traffic ticket waived in exchange for taking part in some valuable, effective training.
With this course you will find ways to avoid getting another citation, become more skilled at riding in traffic, and gain more comfort on the road. Valuable for cyclists of all experience levels.
The course significantly exceeds the traffic skills training requirements for the national programs in United States and Canada:
More than 1100 people have taken the classroom or online course to dismiss a traffic ticket. Many others have taken our Traffic Smarts course out of general interest, to gain a pedicab license, or to meet training requirements for their employers.
Why take the Defensive Cycling course?
By successfully completing it, you will:
- Meet the requirements to have your fine waived by the Courtand your traffic ticket dismissed. (Note: you still need to pay your court fee and associated costs.)
- Keep the offense from being applied to your driving record in error.*
- Gain valuable techniques that will help you increase your competence and confidence in traffic, even if you are an experienced cyclist.
- Learn the laws that apply to you as a cyclist, reducing the likelihood of getting a future ticket.
Time: Approximately 2 hours
Here’s how you can take part in this ‘ticket dismissal’ option:
- Complete and submit a Deferred Disposition form through the Court, along with the payment of the court fee and any other associated charges.
- Sign up for the online course (choose your location):
- Complete the course with a passing grade.
- A Certificate of Completion will be prepared and emailed directly to the Court, or sent to you to deliver to the Court (depending on the jurisdiction).
- Once the certificate is processed, the fine will be waived and the ticket dismissed.
Here is what is explored in the course:
How people behave in traffic
- Our reaction to other people’s errors
- Video: It’s a 3-Way Street
- How do these behaviors come about?
- Our attitude and its impact
- Monitoring our thoughts
- Evaluating our skills
- Learning from our experiences
Bike handling skills
- Parts of the bike
- Does your bike fit you?
- Pedaling cadence
- Riding in a straight line
- Scanning behind
- Shifting gears
Being an MVP-C
- Maneuverable: Creating space around you
- Visible: Being seen, day and night
- Predictable: Helping others make the right decisions
- Communicative: Getting across the right messages
Our rights and responsibilities
- Knowing our true place in traffic
- “But you don’t pay for the roads!” (Yes, we do.)
- What’s the point of the law?
- What we expect, and what drivers expect of us
- Our effect on other cyclists
- A summary of traffic laws for cyclists:
- Three levels of traffic laws
- Definition of a bicycle
- Required equipment
- General operation
- Where to ride on the road
- Obeying traffic control devices
- Right of way
- Riding on sidewalks
- Parking your bike
- Legal doesn’t equal safe
- What if we disagree with a law?
Scanning and signaling
- Scanning for traffic
- Why it’s important
- Review of steps to make it easier
- When to scan
- Using mirrors
- Why it’s important
- What we need to signal, and tips to make it easier
- Lane changes
- Change of position within a lane
- Pulling onto the roadway
- Waving thanks
- Signaling–how, and how often?
- Putting it all together
- Scan, Signal, Scan, Go.
- How this looks in real life
Choosing a place on the road
- Choosing a lane and lane position
- A reasoned approach
- Seeing things from a driver’s perspective
- Ride with traffic
- Risks of wrong-way riding
- How we choose our lane position
- Avoiding roadside hazards
- Giving ourselves space
- How far right?
- When we can move left
- Controlling the lane
- How this helps drivers
- What our options are
- Communicating with others
- Some important considerations
- Riding on one-way streets
- What does controlling the lane look like?
- Parked cars
- The potential risks
- What’s a safe distance?
- Legal responsibility for drivers & passengers
- What a safe distance looks like
- Bike lanes
- Do we have to ride in them?
- What are our options?
- Lane position at intersections
- A, B or C position?
- Common driver errors at intersections, and how to discourage them
- Stopping at an intersection
- Positioning in bike lanes and at 4-way stops
- Travelling through the intersection
- If you ride in ‘C’ position
- If a driver turns across your path
- Regardless of what lane position you take…
- Right turn only lanes
- When stopping is required
- Stop signs and red lights
- What might you miss?
- Go! No, stop!
- Fewer decisions are needed
- Drivers’ perceptions
- The cost of a ticket
- What is the point of the law?
- Where to stop
- Right of way
- Don’t assume you have it
- First come, first served
- Yield to the person on the right
- Yield if you are turning
- Taking your turn
- Pedestrians’ right of way
- Which is a legal crosswalk?
- Communicate with others
- Traffic lights
- Why a green light doesn’t mean ‘go’
- Judging the timing
- Starting off quickly
- Triggering traffic lights
- Making turns
- Right turns
- Left turns
- Changing lanes: moving from ‘C’ position
- Changing lanes: with traffic around you
- Changing lanes: signaling
- Changing lanes: with no traffic around you
- Using the gaps
- Preparing for the turn
- Lane position for the turn
- Waiting position
- Making the turn
- Traffic circles and roundabouts
Other riding situations
- Passing on the right
- Good reasons not to
- When and how we can do it
- Sidewalk riding
- Why do people ride on sidewalks?
- Potential risks
- Making the decision
- Other situations
- Riding near buses
- Riding in parking spaces
- Riding side-by-side
- Riding on paths & trails
- Required and optional equipment
- Lighting: what’s needed, and when
- ABC Quick Check (bike)
- A more detailed check
- Sizing, configuring and adjusting your bike
Parking your bike
- Deterring bike theft
- Where to park your bike
- How to lock it up
- What kind of locks?
Summary and feedback
- Includes an option for a brief survey so you can let us know what you think of the course.
The Center for Cycling Education developed all applicable training materials and administers the course training.
With more than 15 years’ experience as an instructor, the primary course developer has been both a Master Instructor with the League of American Bicyclists and a National Examiner with the Canadian Cycling Association (now Cycling Canada). Others with these credentials, and numerous instructors with each program, helped develop and review the content and delivery.
* Unless dismissed via a Defensive Driving or Defensive Cycling course, all traffic citations received by many jurisdictions (including those received while riding a bike) are sent through to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) or equivalent state agency. Only citations received while driving a motor vehicle (moving violations) are supposed to be applied to one’s driving record. However, there are recorded instances where, through human error, a cycling ticket does end up on the record:
- Lack of notation on the ticket that the vehicle involved was a bicycle.
- Motor vehicle offense code entered on ticket instead of bicycle offense code.
- Improper processing of a bicycle-related citation at DPS as being a motor vehicle violation.