Safety & Security Report

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Bicycle Safety and Security

Bicycle Safety | Abandoned Bicycles

Bicycle Safety

There are four things you must have when riding your bike:

  • A bike light when riding at night.
  • A license - available for $3.50 at Parking and Transportation Services (340 Bonair Siding, 723-9362). California State law requires it.
  • Working brakes - get new pads and adjustments at any bike shop.
  • Helmet - California state law requires all bicyclists under the age of 18 to wear a bike helmet while riding on all streets, bikeways, public paths, and trails (§21212 VC). Persons 18 and over are highly encouraged to wear bike helmets while riding their bicycles.
There are five rules to keep in mind when riding at Stanford:
  • Always ride on the right and with the flow of traffic. Ride on the road, not on the sidewalk.
  • Ride predictably. Whether on a roadway or in White Plaza, maintain a steady course of speed.
  • Traffic laws apply to cyclists too! STOP at intersections and take your turn with other traffic. Pedestrians always have the right of way.
  • Pay attention to your surroundings. Warn pedestrians or fellow riders when you are passing them with, "On your left!"
  • Don't hug the curb. Ride far enough out in the lane to be seen.

Identifying your Bicycle

A bicycle license is required by the California Vehicle Code §39002 and Santa Clara County Ordinance B5-19. 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, frame/serial number, size, color, and number of speeds. Keep a picture of your bicycle in your files.

It is important to license your bicycle at the start of the year at Parking and Transportation Services. If your bike is ever stolen and recovered, a registration will allow the police to return the bike to you. Also, if your bicycle is left unattended on campus for fourteen (14) days or more, it may be declared abandoned and impounded by the Department of Public Safety. The only way to insure that you are contacted so that you may claim your bicycle is by having it licensed.

Locking your Bike

  • Use a U-lock to secure your bike. Always lock your frame and at least your front wheel. Do not leave your bike locked only to itself. A thief can easily walk away with the bike and remove the lock later.
  • Buy a top quality U-lock to make it more difficult for a thief to use a leverage device to break the lock.
  • Don't park your bike so that it obstructs handicapped zones, ramps, pathways, stairs, entrances, door-opening buttons, or traffic through fares. Bicycles parked in these areas may be impounded by the Stanford University Department of Public Safety, so please be courteous and use bicycle racks whenever possible.

If You See Suspicious Activity or a Bike Theft in Progress

  • Dial 9-911 from University phones; use a Blue Light Emergency Tower phone or dial 9-1-1 from off campus or pay phones.
  • Give the dispatcher the time and location of the incident and a description of the suspect.
  • If your bike is stolen, report it to the Stanford Police Department (650-723-9633) immediately. Give them the registration number, serial number, make, model, size, and color of the bike.

Bicycle Accidents

  • Call 9-911/9-1-1 to report injury accidents as soon as possible.
  • In injury accidents, give your name, address, and phone number to the officer at the scene.
  • In non-injury accidents, survey and assess property damages.
  • You must inform the owner of the damaged property of your name, address, and phone number; leave a note if you cannot find the owner of the property and report the accident to the police.
  • If there is no officer at the scene, file a report of the incident at the Department of Public Safety.
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Abandoned Bicycles

If left unattended, a bicycle may be tagged as abandoned with a warning notice by the Department of Public Safety. If the bicycle is not removed within fourteen days, the department will impound it without further notice. This abatement process is performed in student living areas and other areas of campus on an ongoing basis. Please, do not store your bike over the summer by locking it to a bike rack, or it may be removed by the time you return.

The Department of Public Safety has the sole authority to determine whether a bicycle is abandoned. A bicycle is determined to be abandoned when it is found in the same location over an extended period of time (generally two weeks or more) with any combination of missing parts, dust/cobweb covered, flat tires, and rusted chain. If an impounded abandoned bicycle is registered under this policy, the Department of Public Safety shall make a good faith effort to contact the registered owner so that they may reclaim their bicycle. If an abandoned bicycle is not registered under this policy, the Department of Public Safety will dispose of the bicycle after holding it for ninety days. The Department of Public Safety is not responsible for the cost of locks, chains, other security devices, or any other item that may be damaged or destroyed as a result of removing any bicycle.

"Recycle Your Cycle" is a year-round program designed to be an effective alternative to the abandonment of unwanted bikes on campus. Registered owners can drop off their bicycle at the Department of Public Safety. Bicycles are then donated to local charities or made available as fleet bicycles to university departments. To donate your bicycle, please email or call (650) 732-9633.

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