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What Are the Bicycle Laws in California?

What Are the Bicycle Laws in California

Protect Your Rights with Help from a Bicycle Accident Lawyer

We as humans live in society that has rules and laws to ensure that people behave in a way that is safe for them as well as other people. Laws are made to be obeyed by people so that society can function in a beneficial way for people. California has laws to determine when and how bikes must operate. These laws are specified in California Vehicle Code. California laws for bicycles, in many parts, assign the same responsibility and rights as that defined for drivers of motor vehicles. Even if you do follow all the rules, an accident can happen due to the negligence of other road users. In case of an accident, consult a bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Some of the rules and regulations for bicycles under the California law are as follows:

1. Bicyclists Should Use the Bicycle Lane

The California law states that if a bicyclist is travelling slowly as compared to other traffic on the road, then he should keep his bicycle in the bicycle lane. However, if he is taking a left turn then he can leave that lane.

2. Moving with the Flow of Traffic

If a bicyclist is going as fast as rest of the traffic on the road, then he can ride on any lane. In this case, he does not need to take the bicycle lane.

3. Riding on Freeways

Bicyclists are prohibited from riding on freeways unless the California Department of Transportation authorizes it. It is also important to get authorization from local authorities before riding your bicycle on freeways. If they prohibit it, then do not use freeways for riding your bicycle.

4. Riding with Direction of the Traffic

California law states that bicyclists should travel along the right side of lane. They must follow the direction in which traffic is moving. There are exceptions to this law – for instance, the bicyclist is on a one-way street, or the road he is on is too narrow. This law does not apply when a bicyclist is taking a legal left turn.

5. Sidewalks

Whether a bicyclist can or cannot legally ride on the sidewalk depends on the city/county laws. In most cases, it is not recommended since it puts pedestrian at risk of collision.

6. Riding High Speed Electric Bikes and Mopeds

According to California law, mopeds and high speed electric bikes do not fall in category of regular bikes. First, it is not permitted for high speed electric bicycle and mopeds to use the bicycle lane. Low speed electric bicycles can use the bicycle lane. High speed electric bikes can use the bicycle lane if it is separate from the road.

7. Bicycle Should Be Equipped with Brakes and Headlight

The law makes it mandatory for bicyclists to have brakes and headlight on their bicycle.

8. Size of the Bicycle and Handlebars

The rider needs to be small enough for the bicycle that he can stop at any time and support it with his one foot on the ground in a safe way. The bicycle should not have handlebars higher than the rider’s shoulders.

9. Seats and Reflectors

The law requires all bicycles to have seats and reflectors for the sake of the bicyclist’s safety.

10. Wearing a Helmet

The law makes it compulsory for riders and bicycle passengers to wear a helmet if they are under 18 years of age. In case of an accident, wearing a helmet will greatly strengthen your case. It would make it a lot easier for your bicycle accident lawyer to prove your case.

11. Prohibited Items while Riding a Bicycle

Bicyclists must refrain from using their cell phone, headphones, alcohol and drugs when he is riding his bicycle.

12. Parking

Bicyclist should not park in a way that it blocks the path of pedestrians.

A bicyclist can follow all of the laws to a T and still get into an accident due to the negligence of another motorist. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, consult with an experienced bicycle accident lawyer from Wilshire Law Firm for immediate legal assistance.

Last Updated: 03-24-2017