Under California Bicycle Laws, What are a San Diego Cyclists’ Responsibilities?
Bike Laws That Cyclists Need to Know
Cyclists are treated like vehicle operators under most California bicycle laws. This means you are required to obey lane designations, STOP signs, traffic lights and DUI laws. Besides using a well-maintained bike in good repair, understanding San Diego CA bicycle law and utilizing good bike safety practices, you should also exercise good old-fashioned common sense. This will help minimize the chances of your involvement in a San Diego bike accident.
Bike accident lawyer Frederick M. Dudek is an avid cyclist and sponsor of the San Diego Bike Safety Portal. He has seen the devastating consequences that San Diego bicycle accidents have on individuals and their loves ones. Often, when he talks to cyclists involved in collisions, he finds that many cyclists do not know or understand the local San Diego bike laws, bike lane rules or even the age requirement of the California bicycle helmet law. He put together this list of commonly misunderstood or not known bicycle laws that affect California cyclists. Use this quick reference guide to answer any San Diego bicycle law questions you may have. They should help you better understand your rights as a cyclist biking in San Diego. If you have questions about your legal rights after an accident, call our bike accident lawyer for a free consultation.
Bicycle Law in San Diego
According to California bicycle helmet law, bicyclists under the age of 18 are required to wear a helmet. The bicycle helmet law in California is one of the most important bicycle laws we have on the books. This is because a minor spill while riding could lead to irreparable and life-threatening bicycle-related brain injury. This is not only for child bicycle accidents. It makes good sense for all cyclists, no matter their ages, to protect themselves by wearing the proper cycling gear, which includes a properly fitted bicycle helmet.
In many situations, bike lane rules suggest that the safest place for a cyclist is to ride in the bicycle lane when one is available. If a bike lane is not present, ride as far to the right as is possible. Constantly surveying your surroundings and anticipating your next move will make a difference when you must exercise exceptions to the general rules. Exceptions may include avoiding road hazards or moving into the center of the lane.
All bicyclists are required to use hand signals before stopping, turning or changing lanes. Signal your intentions to motorists; it is courteous and actively elicits their cooperation in your bike safety. Allow yourself plenty of time to signal before changing lanes or making a turn. Try to establish eye contact with motorists as you deliver clear hand signals. Scan, signal and “negotiate” with motorists before you move into traffic.
Equip your bike with lights and reflectors for night riding. Your bike must have a white headlamp that has the capacity to project light to the front and side of roadway for a minimum distance of 300 feet. Also, equip the rear of the bike with a red reflector that is visible for a distance of 500 feet. A cyclist needs a white or yellow reflector on the bike’s pedal or the cyclist’s ankle or shoe, which is visible from 200 feet. California bicycle laws also requires a white or yellow reflector on each side forward of the bicycle center and a white or red reflector on each side behind the bike center. (This is not required on bicycles with front and rear reflectarized tires.)
See our illustration of this California bicycle law below:
Bike Accident Lawyer in San Diego Can Answer Your Legal Questions – Call Today
Hopefully, properly following California bicycle law will enhance your bike safety. To read about bicycle law from a government source, go to the California Department of Motor Vehicles for a complete list of bicycle laws. You can also click through our site for useful bike safety information from the perspective of an experienced San Diego bike accident lawyer.
If you or a family member is in a San Diego bike accident due to a motorist’s negligence, our firm wants to help in any way we can. Please schedule a free consultation with bike accident lawyer Frederick M. Dudek, so that he can explain your best options.