Ride on the Street -Â You have a right to ride on the street.Â You are NOT required to ride on the sidewalk.Â CVC 21200Â Exception: Freeways and some bridges may have signs posted forbidding bicyclists.
Avoid Riding on SidewalksÂ -Â Each city in California has its own rules about riding a bicycle on the sidewalk. Some cities allow sidewalk riding, some donâ€™t. Check with your cityâ€™s municipal code.Â CVC 21206
Sidewalk riding is a violation of the municipal code in Santa Monica 3.12.540
For an alphabetical list of cities in L.A. County, clickÂ here.
Yield to PedestriansÂ -Â Pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks (marked or unmarked) and on sidewalks. Bicyclists are also required to â€œexercise due careâ€ for the safety of pedestrians in the roadway who are not in a crosswalk.Â CVC 21950,Â CVC 21952,Â CVC 21954
BIKING ON THE ROAD
Ride to the Right, But Within LimitsÂ -Â When ridingÂ slower than the normal speed of traffic, you are required to ride as far right as â€œpracticableâ€Â (meaningÂ safe). You are not required to ride as far right asÂ possible, which may not be safe. You are allowed, but not required, to ride on the shoulder.Â CVC 21202,Â CVC 21650,Â CVC 21650.1
Take the LaneÂ -Â If a travel lane is too narrow to safely share side by side with a motor vehicle, you can prevent unsafe passing by riding near the center of the lane. On two-lane roads where itâ€™s illegal or unsafe to pass, you must turn off the roadway at a designated or safe location to allow a line of 5 or more vehicles behind you to pass.Â CVC 21202 (a)(3),Â CVC 21656
Ride With Traffic, Not Against ItÂ – You must ride on the right half of the roadway, with the flow of traffic.Â CVC 21650Â Exception: you can ride on either the left or right side of one-way streets.
Look and Yield Before You GoÂ -Â You must yield to traffic before entering the roadway.Â CVC 21804
Ride Outside the Door ZoneÂ -Â Itâ€™s the responsibility of motor vehicle drivers to make sure itâ€™s clear before opening a door. Despite this,Â a practical guide is to ride at least 3 feet from parked cars.Â CVC 22517
MOVING TO THE LEFT
Pass Motor Vehicles and Other Bicycles on the Left -Â You can move left when passing a vehicle or another bicycle traveling in the same direction.Â CVC 21202 (a)(1)
You Can Turn Left Like a Car -Â You can turn left from the left turn lane. You cannot turn left from the right side of the roadway.Â CVC 21202 (a)(2)Â CVC 22100,Â CVC 22107
Move Left to Avoid HazardsÂ -Â You can move left to avoid hazards like fixed or moving objects, bad surface conditions, animals, glass, etc.Â CVC 21202 (a)(3)
Move Left to Avoid Intersection ConflictsÂ – You can move left wherever a right or left turning vehicle might cross your path.Â CVC 21202 (a)(4)
Signal and yield when moving left or rightÂ -Â Use hand signals to indicate when you are turning, changing lanes, or stopping. Move left or right only when itâ€™s clear to do so.Â CVC 22107,Â CVC 22111
Use the Bike Lane, But Leave It When NeededÂ -Â When ridingÂ slower than the normal speed of traffic, you must ride in the bike lane in the same direction as adjacent traffic. You can leave the bike lane to pass another bicyclist or a vehicle in the lane, to turn left, to avoid debris or hazards, or where a right-turning vehicle might cut you off. Â CVC 21208
Use Lights at NightÂ -Â A white headlight and reflectors are required by law if riding when itâ€™s dark.Â CVC 21201
Ride with a BrakeÂ -Â Your bike must be equipped with a brake that enablesÂ you â€œto make one braked wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement.â€Â CVC 21201
Wear a HelmetÂ -Â Bicyclists under the age of 18 must wear a helmet thatÂ meets minimum accepted standards.Â CVC 21212
Use Only One EarplugÂ -Â You may not wear earplugs in both ears or headsets that cover both ears.Â CVC 27400
Donâ€™t Ride Under the InfluenceÂ -Â You can be cited for riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs.Â CVC 21200.5