Bicycling is a hobby many people enjoy for exercise. According to Statista, 54.7 people participated in bicycling at least once in 2022.
California, a state renowned for its diverse landscapes and commitment to sustainability, has implemented several laws to ensure the safety of bicyclists on its roads. Understanding and adhering to these laws is important for staying safe on the road.
Minors must wear helmets
California law requires all minors to wear a properly fitted helmet while cycling on public roads. This law aims to reduce the risk of head injuries and promote safe biking habits from a young age. Although the law only applies to people under the age of 18, all bicyclists should invest in high-quality helmets to reduce the risk of traumatic injury in the event of an accident.
You must use lighting and reflectors at night
Many bicyclists prefer to ride at night to avoid the heat of the day. To promote safety and visibility, bicycles must have a front light that emits white light visible from at least 300 feet away. They must also have a red rear reflector visible from 500 feet. The law requires additional reflectors on both pedals for enhanced visibility.
You must ride on the right side of the road
Just like cars, bicycles must travel on the right side of the road, moving in the same direction as traffic. Riding against the flow of traffic is not only against the law but also increases the risk of accidents. Following this rule ensures a smoother flow of traffic and enhances overall road safety. Be aware of hills and curves in the road that may prevent oncoming motorists from seeing you ahead on your bike. Visibility is important for staying safe when bicycling on a busy road.
You must use hand signals
Communication is key on the road. Bicyclists must use hand signals to indicate their intentions when turning or changing lanes. A left arm straight out signals a left turn, a left arm bent at a right angle upward indicates a right turn and a left arm bent at a right angle downward signals a stop.
You must obey traffic rules and signs
Bicyclists are not exempt from following traffic signals and signs. Just like motorists, cyclists must stop at red lights, yield at stop signs and obey all other traffic rules. Adhering to these regulations ensures a safer and more predictable flow of traffic for everyone on the road.
By respecting these regulations, you contribute to creating a harmonious environment for all road users, making California’s streets more enjoyable for cyclists and motorists alike.