If you ride a bicycle in California, you must follow the same traffic laws set forth in the California Vehicle Code for motor vehicles. In addition to obeying general traffic rules, California bicyclists must also know, understand, and follow the specific traffic laws applicable to bicyclists contained in the vehicle code. Some of the traffic laws specific to bicyclists include limiting where a bicyclist can ride, the safety equipment required for bicycles in California, and operating restrictions for bicycles.
Bicyclists who violate any portion of the California Vehicle Code are subject to fines and penalties just like motor vehicle drivers who break traffic laws. Ignoring a California bicycle traffic ticket can become quite costly. Instead of ignoring a bicycle traffic ticket, bicyclists can now take advantage of the same diversion program (i.e. traffic school) that motor vehicle drivers can use to decrease a ticket fine or dismiss a traffic violation without a fine or points.
Bicyclists Can Now Attend Traffic School in California
Bicycle lobbying groups throughout California worked with lawmakers to change the section of the California Vehicle Code pertaining to traffic school to include bicycle traffic violations. The Bicycle Traffic School bill (AB 902) amended Section 42005.3 of the CVC to allow bicyclists who receive a California traffic ticket while bicycling to attend traffic school to have the fine reduced or the ticket dismissed. Many bicycle advocates praised this bill as another step in protecting bicyclists throughout California by giving them the same rights as other motorists seeing that bicyclists already had the same responsibilities as motorists.
California Bicycle Accidents
Riding a bicycle in California has become slightly safer according to data from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS). Bicycle fatalities decreased in 2014 to 128 from 147 in 2013. Unfortunately, hundreds of bicyclists are injured or killed in California each year. Many bicycle accidents are caused by a careless, negligent, or reckless driver. Bicycle accidents cause emotional stress and financial burdens in addition to the physical pain and suffering from injuries sustained in the bicycle crash.
When a bicyclist is injured due to the fault of another party, the bicyclist is entitled to receive compensation for his or her damages. California personal injury laws allow an injured party to seek compensation for damages including but not limited to:
- Past, present, and future medical expenses
- Past, present, and future lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity if the injured bicyclist is unable to earn as much as before the accident due to the injury
- Property damage (i.e. bicycle, safety equipment, etc.)
- Physical pain and emotional suffering
- Mental anguish
- Funeral, burial, and/or cremation expenses in the event of a death
- Scarring and/or permanent disfigurement
- Permanent disability
The type and amount of compensation you may be entitled to receive for a California bicycle accident depends on the facts and circumstances of your accident and the severity of your injuries and damages.
Have You Been Injured in a California Bicycle Accident?
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, contact the accident attorneys of Torem & Associates at 1-800-954-4444. You may also chat with a representative online or use our convenient online contact form to schedule a free consultation. We want to help you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.