As California bicycle accident attorneys, we like to inform cyclists of their legal rights when it comes to riding a bike in the Golden State. California has specific laws that apply to bicyclists. These laws are designed to help ensure the safety of bicyclists and other road users. If you’re a bicyclist in California, it’s important to understand these laws and follow them to avoid accidents and potential legal consequences.
Here are some of the key bicycle laws in California:
- Helmet Laws: In California, all bicyclists under the age of 18 are required to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle. Additionally, it is strongly recommended that all bicyclists wear a helmet, regardless of their age.
- Traffic Laws: Bicyclists are required to follow the same traffic laws as motor vehicles. This means stopping at stop signs and red lights, riding with the flow of traffic, and using hand signals to indicate turns.
- Bike Lane Laws: Bicyclists are required to use bike lanes when they are available. If there is no bike lane, bicyclists can ride on the road, but they must stay as far to the right as possible.
- Night Riding Laws: Bicyclists are required to have a front white light and a rear red reflector or light when riding at night.
- DUI Laws: Bicyclists can be charged with a DUI if they are riding a bicycle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Electric Bicycle Laws: California has specific laws that apply to electric bicycles. These laws vary depending on the speed and power of the electric bike.
Here are some relevant sections of the California Vehicle Code that pertain to bicycle laws:
- Helmet laws: California Vehicle Code (“CVC”) Section 21212 requires all bicyclists under the age of 18 to wear an approved helmet while riding a bicycle.
- Traffic laws: CVC Section 21200 requires bicyclists to follow the same traffic laws as motor vehicle drivers, including stopping at stop signs and red lights, and riding with the flow of traffic.
- Bike lane laws: CVC Section 21208 requires bicyclists to ride in a designated bike lane when one is available. If there is no bike lane, bicyclists must ride as far to the right as possible, except when passing, preparing for a left turn, or avoiding hazards.
- Night riding laws: CVC Section 21201 requires bicyclists to use a front white light and a rear red reflector or light when riding at night.
- DUI laws: CVC Section 21200.5 prohibits bicyclists from riding a bicycle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Electric bicycle laws: CVC Section 312.5 provides definitions and regulations for electric bicycles in California, including speed and power restrictions.
These are just a few examples of the many bicycle laws in California. For a more comprehensive list, you can review the California Vehicle Code, specifically Division 11, Chapter 1, Article 4, which covers the laws pertaining to bicycles.
It’s important to note that bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of motor vehicles. This means that motorists must give bicyclists enough space when passing, and they must yield to bicyclists when required by law.
If you’re a bicyclist in California, it’s important to know your rights and responsibilities under the law. By following these laws, you can help ensure your own safety and avoid legal consequences.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident in California, it’s important to seek the help of a skilled and experienced personal injury attorney who can help you recover the compensation you deserve. A bike accident attorney can review the specifics of your case, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you in court if necessary.
Don’t wait to take action after a bicycle accident. Contact a qualified personal injury attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights and get the compensation you need to recover from your injuries. At Steven M. Sweat, Personal Injury Lawyers, APC, we have helped hundreds of bike accident victims recover money for medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering related to bike crashes. Our experience spans over two decades. Call today for a free consultation at 866-966-5240.