Will California’s Proposed Bicycle Legislation Increase Safety on the Roadways?

bicycle legislation in californiaOn February 19th, a new bicycle bill was proposed in California that may change the way cyclists travel on the roadways. The bill was introduced by Phil Ting, a Democratic member of the California State Assembly.

California has made several changes over the past few years to help keep cyclists safe. The state passed a three-foot bike law five years ago requiring motorists to maintain three feet of space from bicycle riders. Last spring, the city of Sacramento installed protected bike lanes on multiple streets in the Downtown area.

These changes are being made in an effort to eliminate accidents and serious injuries to drivers and cyclists. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Sacramento is the fifth-deadliest city for cyclists in the U.S.

Assembly Member Ting thinks the new bill can help eliminate any confusion cyclists have when it comes to where they can ride when there are no existing bike lanes.

As more people choose to ride bikes as their primary mode of transportation, we can help the state of California remain a healthy and safe place to live and work, Ting stated.

Proposed Legislation: AB 697

Assembly Bill 697 would allow cyclists to ride in the right-hand lane or bicycle lane if one is present. Cyclists in a traffic lane that is wide enough for both cars and bicyclists to safely travel side-by-side would need to ride far enough to the right to allow a car to pass safely.

However, there some exceptions to this rule. If road conditions are too hazardous, cyclists do not have to worry about continuing along the right-hand edge of the lane or when approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.

Existing California Bicycle Laws

Current bicycle laws, specifically Section 21202 of the California Vehicle Code, requires cyclists to ride as close as possible to the right-hand curb or edge, except under certain situations. These situations include the following:

  • When trying to overtake or pass another car or bicycle going in the same direction
  • When trying to make a left-hand turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway
  • When it is reasonably necessary to avoid conditions, such as hazardous, fixed or moving objects
  • When traveling on the highway with one-way traffic and two or more marked traffic lanes

Contact an Attorney for a Free Consultation

If you have been involved in a bicycle accident with a car, do not hesitate to contact a Sacramento auto accident attorney at the Arnold Law Firm for legal help. We are well-versed in California bicycle laws and how to apply them to the specifics of your case.

Contact us today to schedule a free, no obligation consultation. We can review your case and determine if you have grounds to take legal action to pursue compensation for your injuries. There are no upfront costs for our legal services unless you recover the compensation you deserve.

Call (916) 777-7777 to see how we might be able to help you.