Whether you’re a novice or an experienced cyclist, that is necessary to recognize California bicycle safety and security laws. Understanding the law and safety requirements deserve to save you time and money, and much more importantly, it could save her life. The law specifies a bicycle as any type of vehicle ~ above which any type of person may ride and which is propelled just by person power, making use of a belt, chain or gears and also which has at least one wheel. A human riding a bike or operating a pedicab on a roadway has actually the same rights and responsibilities as various other motorists.

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Bicycle riders in California need to follow the rules, orCalifornia car Code (CVC), of the road for drivers of vehicles:

Equipping your Bike

Brakes: Bikes must be equipped through a brake that allows a rider to execute a one-braked-wheel skid top top dry, level and also clean pavement (CVC 21201(a)).

Handlebars: Cannot be greater than the operator’s shoulders (CVC 21201(b)).

Bicycle size: Operators deserve to ride a cycle they can start safely, travel safely, assistance with one foot top top the ground, and stop safely.CVC 21201(c)

Lights: At night, a white headlight should be attached come the front of the bike or the bicyclist, and visible to various other motorists.CVC 21201(d) andCVC 21201(e)

Reflectors: At night, bicycles must be fitted v the adhering to reflectors (CVC 21201(d)):

Visible native the back: red reflector. Friend can affix a solid or flashing red rear light in enhancement to the reflector.Visible native the front & back: white or yellow reflector on each pedal or on the bicyclist’s shoes or ankles. The prior may have actually a visible, white headlight.Visible from the side: 1) white or yellow reflector ~ above the front half of the bicycle and also 2) a red or white reflector on each side the the back fifty percent of the bike. These reflectors are not forced if the bike has actually reflecting former and ago tires

Seats: All riders must have a permanent, regular seat, uneven the bike is design by the manufacturer to be ridden there is no a seat. Bicycle passenger weighing much less than 40 lbs. Must have a seat which holds them in place and also protects castle from relocating parts (CVC 21204).

Operating her Bike

Helmets: In California, anyone under the age of 18 should wear a helmet once riding a bicycle on a street, bikeway or publicly bicycle course or trail.

Head Phones: Bicyclists can not wear earplugs or headset in or extending both ears.

Cell Phones: Though the is no advised, bicyclists are allowed to usage a handheld mobile while cycling.

Alcohol and drugs: Like motorists, it is illegal to ride a bicycle when under the influence of alcohol addict beverages or drugs. Follow to California auto Code (CVC)section 21200.5, riding a bike under the affect of alcohol, drugs, or their linked influence is a crime. Cycling or bicycling under the influence (BUI) in California is a misdemeanor because that which you deserve to be fine, jailed, and also incur a criminal record.

Carrying items: Cyclists cannot bring an item(s) that protect against at the very least one hand from utilizing the handlebars.

Pedestrians: Bicyclists must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians within crosswalks in ~ an intersection.

Parking: A cyclist cannot park your bike ~ above the sidewalk nor in any way that obstructs pedestrians.

Hitching rides: Cyclists cannot hitch rides ~ above vehicles or engine vehicles.

Where You deserve to Ride

Bike lane: According toCVC ar 21208, cyclists riding slower than traffic need to use the bicycle lane (if one is created on the roadway) except when do a left turn, happen or preventing hazardous conditions, or draw close a location where a right turn is permitted.

Right come “take the lane”: By law, a cyclist riding ~ above a roadway at a speed less than the normal rate of traffic moving in the same direction at the time must ride together close as feasible to the right-hand curb or edge of the road except as follows: when passing, preparing for a left turn, staying clear of hazards, if the lane is also narrow come share, or if approaching a place where a appropriate turn is authorized (CVC 21202).

Ride v traffic: A person operating a bicycle need to travel ~ above the right fifty percent of the road except under any type of of the following situations: once passing, make a legitimate left turn, riding top top a one-way street, riding ~ above a road that is also narrow, or when the appropriate side the the roadway is closed early to construction (CVC 21650).

Mopeds, high-speed electric and low-speed electrical bicycles are not like continuous bicycles: Gas-powered bikes and type 3 electric bikes (with top assisted speeds of 28 mph) space not permitted on trails, bike courses or lanes unless allowed by regional authorities. They may be offered in cycle lanes or separated bike ways adjacent to the road (CVC 21207.5). In addition, mopeds and also high-speed electrical bikes need helmets and also cannot be operated by civilization under 16. Kind 1 and 2 electric bicycles (with top helped speeds the 20 mph) are allowed wherever consistent bikes are allowed unless specifically prohibited.

Bike paths: No one may stop or park a cycle on a bicycle path.

Sidewalks: Individual cities decide even if it is or not biking top top the sidewalk is allowed. In Sacramento, current city password prohibits bike riding ~ above the sidewalk in other than in residential area. However, the ordinance falls short to define a “residential” area, make it tough to know or obtrude the law.

Freeways: Bicyclesand motor bicycles cannot take trip on freeways and also expressways whereby prohibited by the California room of transport (DOT) and local authorities (CVC 21960).

Toll bridges: Cyclists cannot overcome a toll bridge uneven authorized by the California dot (CVC 23330).

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Bill Kershaw is one avid cyclist and cycling enthusiast and also is a proud proponent of various institutions in California that assistance bicycle advocacy and the legal rights of all cyclists in California.