California is One of the Most “Bikeable” States
California has a lot of appeal to cyclists. With a well-established biking infrastructure and scenic views, there is a lot to offer in cities throughout the west coast—several of which top "bikeability" rankings annually. However, before attaching your bike to your car for a road trip through the state, it's essential to understand which laws to follow. Here's what you need to know.
An Overview of Bicycle Laws
Under California law, cyclists generally have the same right to the roadway as any other vehicle. However, there are some distinctions in sharing the road with others:
- Riders should be as close to the right side of the road as practical unless passing or preparing for a left turn.
- If not going as fast as traffic, they can "take the lane," meaning have full access to the lane if it's not wide enough to ride alongside a vehicle.
- Cyclists moving slower than traffic must use the bike lane if available.
- Cities have the authority to allow bicycles on the sidewalk, so research local laws before riding.
It's also important to note that the California Department of Transportation prohibits cyclists from being on the freeway or expressway. They also may not cross toll bridges.
Safety Restrictions to Know
In addition to knowing where to ride, it's equally as important to know how to ride safely. The state has safety restrictions in place for cyclists, including:
- Riders and passengers aged 18 and younger must wear a helmet.
- Headsets or earbuds may not be worn; only hearing aids are permitted.
- Riders must equip their bikes with a white headlight visible from the front, a red reflector visible from the back, white/yellow reflectors on each pedal or the cyclist's shoes, and two reflectors on each tire's side.
Riders should also know that DUI laws still apply to cyclists, so remember only to ride when sober.
Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Attorneys
Our Los Angeles attorneys at Effres & Effres are dedicated to ensuring that your right to bike in California is protected. If you've been injured in a bicycle collision caused by another individual, schedule a free consultation with a member of our team today by calling (818) 222-9720