New California Bike Riding Rules for 2023

At The Law Offices of Jacob Emrani, we have represented numerous clients who have been victims of bicycle accidents. Safety is a serious concern for bicyclists. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), more than 10,000 of them are injured in collisions with motorists, and over 100 are killed every year. State legislators have issued new laws in recent years to help improve bicycle safety. Here’s a look at the new bike riding rules for 2023.

What Is Assembly Bill No. 1909?

Approved on September 16, 2022, AB 1909 (Bicycle Omnibus Bill) includes the following provisions:

  • Passing Bicyclists: Drivers moving in the same direction as a bicycle are required to move to an adjacent lane, if possible, to pass a cyclist. All the while, they must proceed with regard to safety, traffic, and weather conditions so as to not endanger the cyclist or anyone else on the road. 

As per earlier requirements, a driver must give a bicyclist at least three feet of space when passing. The new law states that once the motorist moves to an adjacent lane, they must slow down as needed. Only when it’s safe to do so can they pass the bicyclist.

  • Use of Class 3 e-Bikes: Class 3 e-bike riders can use approved bicycle paths and trails. They’re also permitted to use a bicycle lane or bikeway. Riders of these vehicles were previously banned from using these facilities, but are prohibited from riding on a hiking, recreational, or equestrian trail.
  • Licensing: Local jurisdictions are prohibited from requiring bicyclists to be licensed and registered. Previous law authorized local authorities to adopt bicycle licensing ordinances or resolutions as they saw fit.
  • Crossing an Intersection: When a walk sign is on, a cyclist will be allowed by law to cross an intersection, starting on January 1, 2024. This rule will apply unless a bicycle control signal directs otherwise.

Changes to state law aren’t limited to bicyclists. A new law (AB 2147 (Freedom to Walk Act)) also includes changes for pedestrians. For example, people will be allowed to jaywalk or cross a road outside a crosswalk. If there are no moving cars in that area, they will not face a fine. 

Bicycle Safety Tips

New bike laws don’t reduce the significance of bicycle safety in any way. To reduce the risk of an accident or injury, and follow existing laws and bike riding rules:

  • Use a bicycle lane whenever one is available, except when turning left, passing, or avoiding a hazard.
  • Whenever possible, ride on the right side of the roadway in the same direction as traffic.
  • Never stop on or park a bicycle on a bicycle path; follow local regulations pertaining to riding on sidewalks.
  • Yield to pedestrians whether they are using marked crosswalks or not.
  • Wear an approved helmet if under the age of 18; if older, doing so is recommended to reduce the risk of a head injury in a crash.
  • When riding at night, a bike must have a rear front white light visible up to 300 feet; a red reflector must be visible up to 500 feet behind the bicycle.
  • Do not wear earplugs in both ears or a headset that covers both of your ears.

In a Bicycle Accident? Call Jacob Today

Following all bicycle safety laws and tips can significantly reduce the risk of getting into an accident. But accidents do happen no matter how careful one is. If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence and were obeying bike riding rules, your personal injury compensation may be maximized. We’ve represented numerous clients over the years and have awarded millions of dollars in damages. To learn more or request a consultation, contact The Law Offices of Jacob Emrani at 888-952-2952 today.

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