California bicycle laws: What you need to know

On Behalf of | Jun 6, 2022 | Bicycle Accidents |

In Los Angeles, state laws that specify how and where bicycles should operate are contained in the California Vehicle Code. Under the law, cyclists have almost similar rights and responsibilities as other motorists, although there are some specific rules.

Below is a brief summary of key sections of the law that you should know about as a cyclist.

Where should you ride?

Your speed will determine where you should ride. If you are riding as fast as traffic, you can ride in the traffic lane. Otherwise, you ought to use the bicycle lane.

In addition, cyclists should ride as close to the right side of the road as possible unless when you are avoiding hazards, the lane is too narrow or you are preparing or making a legal left turn. It is also against the law to attach yourself to a moving vehicle while riding your bicycle.

Safety is paramount

All bicycles should also be well equipped before hitting the road. The brakes should be functional, while the handlebars must be lower than the rider’s shoulders. Reflectors at the front, back and side are also mandatory for all cyclists.

Other regulations specify how cyclists should operate their bicycles. For instance, you should not wear ear plugs on both ears, and although cyclists are allowed to use a handheld device, you still need to be wary of other road users. Cyclists should also yield to pedestrians within marked crosswalks or at unmarked crosswalks at intersections.

Safeguarding your rights as a rider

Some drivers regard cyclists as inferior to other motorists, which is not the case. If you are involved in an accident with a negligent driver, you need to protect your rights and hold them accountable.

Being aware of the steps to take in the event of an accident is crucial in ensuring you get the settlement you deserve for any injuries or damage to property.