California Bicycle Laws
Riding your bicycle can be a great way to get exercise during your commute, but it can also be dangerous. When compared to the surrounding vehicles, bicycles are pretty flimsy, so it’s important to follow the rules of the road to help keep yourself out of danger. Below are a few of the most important California bicycle laws to abide by.
1. Cyclists must follow the California vehicle code.
Those riding bicycles must follow the same traffic rules as all other vehicles. This includes stopping at red lights and stop signs, as well as signaling (using your arms) for turns.
2. Ride with the flow of traffic and on the right side of the road.
Cyclists must ride in the same direction as vehicular traffic at all times. If for any reason you are heading the other direction and cannot get to the correct side of the road, you must walk your bike. All other times, you must ride on the right side of the road in the same direction that traffic is headed.
3. Use bike lanes when possible.
When you are moving slower than traffic and a bike lane is available, you must use it. Exceptions to using the available bike lanes are when you’re making a left turn, passing another cyclist, or riding around a pedestrian or car in the bike lane.
4. You must wear a helmet under age 18.
A bike helmet is not required at every age, although it is extremely highly recommended. However, if you are under the age of 18, it is illegal to ride your bicycle without an approved helmet. Still, you should protect yourself at all ages by wearing a helmet when riding.
5. Yield to pedestrians.
On a bicycle, you are still considered a moving vehicle, and therefore pedestrians have the right of way. When approaching a crosswalk, or when you see any pedestrian crossing the road, always stop until they have finished crossing in front of you.
6. Properly equip your bike for riding at night.
If you are going to be riding your bicycle when it’s dark outside, there are a couple of safety features from the California bicycle laws that you and your bike should have. First of all, you or your bicycle must be equipped with a white light that can be seen from 300 feet away, a red reflector or flashing red light at the rear of your bike, a white or yellow reflector on each bike pedal, as well as a white or yellow reflector on each side of the front and rear of the bike. Abiding by these rules helps to ensure that other vehicles can still see you at night.
It’s so important as a cyclist to follow California bike laws to ensure the safety of your person. These help to prevent accidents, as well as keep you safe, so if you’re going to be commuting by bicycle, stay well-versed in the law of the road.