Bicyclists Benefit from California’s Sharing the Road Laws
San Jose legal team protects your rights as a cyclist
California is among 20 states that have enacted “sharing the road” laws, which establish rules for how cars and trucks should interact with bicycles and other slower moving vehicles. The basic premise of the laws is straightforward: Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle drivers. If you are a cyclist who has been injured by a driver who disregarded that principle, the San Jose bike accident lawyers at Needham Kepner & Fish LLP will help you recover compensation for your medical bills, lost income and other damages.
Important provisions of California’s sharing the road laws
The sharing the road laws, which are sprinkled throughout the California Vehicle Code (CVC), contain a number of provisions that regulate where bicyclists can ride. Here’s a summary of those provisions:
Direction of travel: Bicyclists must travel on the right side of the road in the direction of traffic, except when passing, making a legal left turn, riding on a one-way street, riding on a road that is too narrow, or when the right side of the road is closed for road construction. See CVC 21650.
Roadways: Bicyclists can ride wherever they want if they’re traveling at the speed of the surrounding traffic. When bicyclists are moving slower than the surrounding traffic, they are required to position themselves in whichever part of the lane is safest. The law says that cyclists must ride as close to the right side of the road as possible except when passing, preparing for a left turn, avoiding hazards, if the lane is too narrow to share, or if approaching a right turn lane. The specifics can be found in CVC 21202.
Bicycle lanes: On a road with a bike lane, bicyclists traveling slower than traffic must use the bike lane except when making a left turn, passing, avoiding hazardous conditions or approaching a right turn lane. For more information, see CVC 21208.
Motorized bicycles: Motorized bicycles may not be used on trails, bike paths or lanes unless allowed by local authorities. See CVC 21207.5.
Obstruction of bike paths: No one may stop on or park a bicycle on a bicycle path. See CVC 21211.
Sidewalks: Individual cities and counties control whether bicyclists may ride on sidewalks. See CVC 21206.
Freeways: Bicycles, including motorized bicycles, may not be ridden on freeways or expressways where the California Department of Transportation or local authorities have posted signs prohibiting bicycles. See CVC 21960.
Toll crossings: Bicyclists may not cross a toll bridge or toll highway crossing unless it is marked with signs that say bicycles are allowed. See CVC 23330 and CVC 23254.
The sharing the road laws apply to various slow-moving vehicles, including:
- Farm tractors
- Animal-drawn carts
- Road maintenance vehicles
- Neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs)
- Low-speed vehicles (LSVs)
For more information, see the Department of Motor Vehicles website.
An experienced bicycle accident attorney can help
If you have been injured by a motorist who didn’t share the road, our bicycle accident lawyers can pursue your claim. Our San Jose injury law firm will work hard to recover compensation to pay for your medical bills, pain and suffering and loss of wages. To find out more about how we can help you, visit our page on frequently asked questions about bicycle accidents.
Contact our San Jose lawyers at Needham Kepner & Fish LLP today
The attorneys at Needham Kepner & Fish LLP provide aggressive representation to clients who are injured in accidents caused by someone else’s negligence in San Jose, San Francisco, Monterey or throughout the Bay Area. We are available weekends and evenings by appointment. To schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case, call us today at 1-408-956-6949 or use our online form. We handle injury cases on a contingent fee basis, which means that you pay us nothing unless you recover compensation.