California bike laws are easy to understand; you just need to know them. When you break them down to their types, they’re a cinch to keep track of. Here are the main types of California bike laws.
Types of California Bike Law
- Helmet law – According to California bike law, anyone under the age of 18 must wear a helmet. The helmet must fit properly and always remain fastened while riding. All helmets worn must meet standards set by the American National Standards Institute (or a similar organization). It is illegal to sell a helmet not meeting these standards.
- Where you can ride – Where you can bike depends partly on your speed. If you’re moving as fast as traffic, you can ride wherever you want in the lane (riding with traffic, of course). If you’re riding slower, however, you must either ride as far to the right side of the lane as possible or use the bike lane, when available.
- Bike equipment – Pretty much all bikes come with all the equipment you need, but it’s useful to know the laws on the matter. All bikes must have brakes, handlebars no higher than the rider’s shoulders, reflectors visible from all sides, and lights (at night).
- Bike operation – Wearing headphones while riding is prohibited, believe it or not, as are cell phones. It is also against the law to hitch onto any vehicle while driving or carry anything that prevents you from keeping at least one hand on the handlebars.
Following the law regarding bicycle safety will help you to avoid being fined. More importantly, it will ensure that you and your children are safe when you’re biking in the city.
Frederick M. Dudek is a cycling enthusiast and a San Diego personal injury attorney dedicated to bicycle safety and helping the victims of bicycle accidents.