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Cycling and personal safety

The following strategies can help make you and your cycling environment safer.

Your safety

An image of a cyclistTo keep yourself safe you should:

  • Trust your judgement. If you pick up a bad feeling from a person, a path or other situation, trust and act on your instincts. Get away from the person (politely but firmly), take a different path and avoid the situation.
  • Look confident. Don't appear to be an easy victim. Be confident, even if it is a bluff. Attackers often target vulnerable people so the more confident you look, the less likely you are to be attacked.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Be aware of possible dangers so you can cycle away before it is directed at you. Try and do this without looking round too often and seeming paranoid.
  • Consider carrying a mobile phone and code emergency numbers on the speed-dial.
  • Take a self-defence course. A good self-defence course will teach you confidence and awareness as well as physical defence skills.

Your environment

To create a safe environment:

  • Choose routes where you won't be alone. Where possible, cycle with friends especially at night. Choose paths that have other users and that are well lit. Try and travel near houses or other places that provide natural surveillance.
  • It may be safer to cycle on roads while at night. Roads provide surveillance from passing traffic that is often absent on quieter bike paths.
  • Get to know your route. Be aware of possible dangers such as areas that are unlit while at night, thick shrubbery or blind alleys. Work out possible escape routes. If the route makes you feel uncomfortable, search for a different route.
  • Get to know strategic people along your cycling route such as staff in shops and security officers. These people can help you if they are accessible in an emergency. Reaching a friendly person will often make you safe from a potentially dangerous situation.
  • Take care where you park your bike. Park close to your destination and where you will be safe while you lock and unlock your bike. A site that is busy or that can be seen from occupied buildings will often provide the necessary personal security for you and for the bike while it is unattended.

Other sources of information

The Queensland Police Service provides brochures and information services to help with personal security and crime prevention.

Last updated
24 August 2017