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Ranked #1

Personal Injury Firm in Los Angeles

Bike Riding In LA / Bike Law And Vehicle Codes


From the Griffith Park nine-mile loop to the charming Arroyo Seco Bike Path, Los Angeles is home to thousands of cyclists. However, with a city that has over 28,000 miles of street lanes, only 0.6% are made for bikes. If you’re new to Los Angeles you may have quickly noticed the ever flourishing bike culture and the rapid spread of bike sharing systems. 

Unfortunately, California is one of the highest ranking states in the U.S when it comes to bicyclist deaths. Understanding the law and the vehicle codes that apply to bicycling will help you stay safe. 

However, bicycle accidents can occur. And when they do, it is best to have strong legal representation. West Coast Trial Lawyers are the top ranked personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles. We are always available to answer any questions you may have regarding your rights as a bicyclist in California.

Pasadena Bike Injury Attorney 

Pasadena only has 12 miles of dedicated bicycle lanes, which sometimes causes riders to incur injuries due to unsafe driving areas.

Irvine Bike Injury Lawyer 

As more bicycle accident hit and runs are reported by the media, Irvine authorities reach out to the public for help. 

Where Can I Ride My Bike?

Under the California Vehicle Code, bicyclists are expected to follow the same rules and regulations as all motorists with only a few exceptions. In certain counties you may have complete freedom as to where you can ride your bike. However, that doesn’t mean that it is safe. 

Listed below are a few areas where you and ride your bike and the rules regarding those spaces. 

  • The Bike Lane (CVC 21208) This may be an obvious choice, but when moving slower than traffic it is always suggested to use the bike lane except when making left turns, passing obstructions or otherwise instructed. 
  • Riding With Traffic (CVC 21208) A bicyclist must move with traffic and stay along the right side of the road except when making a left turn, avoiding road construction or on a one way street. 
  • Freeways (CVC 21960) All bikes, including motorized bicycles are not permitted on the freeway or expressways. 
  • Toll Bridges (CVC 23330) Riding a bike on a toll bridge is illegal unless otherwise instructed by the California Department of Transportation. 
  • Bike Path. A welcome area dedicated for cyclists. However, you are prohibited from stopping or parking your bike on the path.

Can I Ride My Bike On the Sidewalk?

Generally speaking, the California Vehicle Code states that bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as all drivers. However, there are rules specifically made for bicyclists to keep them safe on and off the road. 

According to LAMC 56.15, the City of Los Angeles permits riding on the sidewalk as long as it is not done with a “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property”. 

Although some cities within LA County disallow sidewalk bike riding, others may limit that to only “business districts”. Business districts include buildings that are not used as single family homes.

Bicycle Equipment

Bicycles have experienced a multitude of evolutions over the years, including various design types and the inclusion of electrical motors. As the alterations on bikes require specific laws, here are the minimum requirements for the average bicycle:

  1. Size (CVC 21201) Bicycles may range in size, but must be small enough so the rider can start and stop it with one leg off the ground.
  2. Brakes (CVC 21201(a)) All cyclists must have a working braking system that allows the rider to stop without skidding on dry, level, clean pavement. 
  3. Lights (CVC 21201(d)) Night time riders must have a visible headlight on the body of their bicycle.  
  • Reflectors (CVC 21201(d)) Night time riders must also:
    1. Have a red reflector visible from the back 
    2. Have a white or yellow reflector on the pedals or bicyclist’s shoes 
    3. Have a white or yellow reflector on the front of the bicycle and on each side of the bicycle

Bike Rules in LA

  • All riders under the age of 18 must wear a helmet 
  • Cannot wear earplugs or headsets that cover both ears
  • Using cellphones while riding is permitted 
  • Cyclists cannot ride if they are over the legal limit for drugs or alcohol 
  • Cyclists cannot park or leave their bike on the sidewalk or anywhere that obstructs normal commuters 

West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help

If you have sustained injuries as a result of a bicycle accident, you have the right to hold the guilty party responsible. A bicycle accident attorney at our firm can help you recover financial compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering from your injury. 

Call us today at (213) 927-3700 or email info@westcoasttriallawyers.com to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring and compassionate legal team.



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