There are Rules for Cyclists in California: Do You Know Them?
There are many bicycles on the roads of California, which is great for reducing traffic congestion, carbon emissions, and other issues that can come up when you live in an area with many cars. However, not all bicyclists know that there are laws they must follow, just like motorists must. Read on to learn more about them. If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident reach out to Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 for a free legal consultation.
The basic rules for bicyclists in California
The CMDV makes it clear that a person on a bike must share the road with vehicles and that they have both the same rights and the same responsibilities as a car driver or a motorcyclists. They further clarify by adding additional rules / responsibilities. They include:
- Obeying traffic signals and stop signs.
- Moving left only to pass a vehicle, animal, or bike, or to avoid hazards like debris.
- Riding on some sections of road in rural areas if there aren’t other options.
- Riding in the center lane if they’re moving as fast as traffic they’re in.
- Riding with traffic – not against it.
- Riding as close to the right curb or roadway edge as is practical.
- Not riding on the sidewalk.
- Legally riding on the left curb or edge if they’re on a one-way.
- Not riding unless their bike has a brake that can work on dry, clean, level pavement.
- Riding single file on a busy and / or narrow street.
- Carrying ID.
- Making left and right turns in the same turn lanes a driver does.
- Signal to car drivers and other bike riders.
- Wear a helmet if they’re not yet 18 years old.
There are also rules about what bicyclists must wear after dark
Though adult bike riders aren’t required to wear helmets, we urge you to keep in mind that wearing a helmet can significantly decrease your chances of a brain injury in the event of an accident. There are some rules about what a bike rider must wear at night. They must have a lamp on the front of their bike that emits white light for at least 300 feet.
They must have a red reflector on the back of their bike that can be seen from 500 feet. They must also have either a white or yellow reflector on both pedals, or on the shoes of the bicyclist. Either way, the reflectors must be visible from 200 feet.
Not following cyclist’s laws could open up lawsuits
Why are these rules so important? First and foremost, they help keep both bicyclists and drivers safe on the roads. However, there’s another important reason: Not following these rules could open up a bicyclist to a lawsuit. If you’ve been injured as a result of a cyclist not following these rules, or if you’re a cyclist who was injured by another cyclist or a driver, then you may have cause to file a personal injury case. To learn more, reach out to Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707.