With school back in session, it’s a great time to brush up on your knowledge of both rider and traffic safety. Whether you’re traveling using CapMetro, behind the wheel of your car, riding a bike or scooter, or commuting as a pedestrian, the number one key to safety is awareness.
To help you move around Austin safely and effectively, here are some traffic safety guidelines to keep in mind on the go.
Back to School Safety
- Drive with extra caution near school campuses.
- Watch out for students walking to & from bus stops.
- Avoid distractions during your commute.
- Everyone riding CapMetro is required wear a mask (including kids!).
Safety Tips for Riding CapMetro
- Always use traffic lights and crosswalks, and obey all warning signals and railroad crossing gates.
- When boarding and exiting, watch your step and do not cross in front of the vehicle.
- Please stay back at least three feet from the curb and station platform edge while waiting for the bus or train
- Standing while riding is permitted except on MetroAccess vehicles. Look for a pole or a strap to hold for safety
- Sitting or standing in the doorway or the stairwell is never allowed.
- If you need to remove your bike from the rack at the front of the bus, alert the operator as you exit.
- Face masks are required while riding and waiting to ride. If you are feeling ill, please wait to ride until you are feeling If you see something, say something. Report suspicious activity using the CapMetro App or this webform. When riding MetroRail, use the intercom to reach the train engineer. Report emergencies or suspicious activity to any bus operator, uniformed personnel or call 911.
MetroRail Rider, Driver and Pedestrian Safety
- Stand behind the white line on the platform while waiting for the train.
- Stay clear of the tracks. If you are standing on or near the tracks, you may not see, hear or feel the vibration of an approaching train.
- Photos on tracks can be deadly. Don’t risk your life for a selfie.
- MetroRail trains are faster and quieter than freight trains and not required to blow horns in designated quiet zones.
- Cross tracks only at designated crossings and never cross tracks when the gates are down or lowering.
- Do not try to beat the train to a crossing when driving. Stop at least 15 feet from rail crossings.
- Never stop on the tracks.
- Capital Metro has a zero-tolerance policy for trespassing within the railroad right-of-way.
Traffic Safety for Drivers
- Stay alert and on the lookout for pedestrians, people riding bikes or scooters, and CapMetro vehicles.
- Please slow down and obey speed limits, respect traffic signs, and avoid distractions.
- Stay alert for buses as they stop for passenger boarding.
- When you approach railroads, be cautious. Stop, look both ways and listen for a train before crossing. Respect flashing red lights, do not drive around the lowered bar and never stop on the tracks.
Bike and Scooter Safety
- Ride with the flow of traffic, to the right in the same direction as other vehicles.
- Obey traffic laws; a bicycle is a vehicle and you’re a driver!
- Stay alert for both vehicles and pedestrians as you ride. Avoid using headphones in both ears as to not block out potentially important sounds like horns, railroad crossing bells, etc.
- Plan your trip before you begin your ride and come to a stop in a safe location before checking your phone.
- You know not to drink and drive, but don’t drink and ride either. The same laws apply to cycling while intoxicated, so find a safe ride home that doesn’t involve you behind the wheel or the handlebars.
- If you’re renting a bike or scooter, be sure to park it in a dock or safe place out of the way for other drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.
- Motorized bikes and scooters are not permitted on city trails.
- Wear brightly colored clothing and especially light colors at night.
- Stay alert and pause your music or podcast while traveling through busy areas to ensure you can hear warning signals from nearby drivers.
- Obey the traffic signs and watch for vehicles.
- Use crosswalks and do not walk along railroad tracks.
While these following these tips is sure to keep you safe as you travel, you can find even more safety information over on our website. Here’s to a safe school year, in the classroom and on the road!
P.S. Don’t forget that students K-12 ride free, UT students ride free with a valid UT student ID and ACC students ride free with a green pass!