The following are the CA state laws regarding the use of bicycles on roads and highways.  Most are common sense and we already know, but I think we should have a mechanism to constantly communicate and update the laws to our participants as we move forward and grow both the Bicycle Association and the Trails Foundation.

We should also investigate any local laws regarding bicycles.

California Vehicle Code Division 11 – Rules of the Road

Click on the links below to view Vehicle Code

Chapter 1. Obedience to and Effect of Traffic Laws
Article 4. Operation of Bicycles

Table of Contents for Article 4 of Chapter 1 of Division 11 of the California Vehicle Code

Section Number    Section Title

21200                    Laws Applicable to Bicycle Use: Peace Officer Exemption

21200.5                 Riding Bicycle Under Influence of Alcohol

21201                    Equipment Requirements

21201.3                 Bicycle or Motorized Bicycle Lights

21201.5                 Reflectorized Equipment

21202                    Operation on Roadway

21203                    Hitching Rides

21204                    Riding on Bicycles

21205                    Carrying Articles

21206                    Local Regulation

21207                    Bicycle Regulation

21207.5                 Motorized Bicycles: Prohibited Operation

21208                    Permitted Movements from Bicycle Lanes

21209                    Motor Vehicles and Motorized Bicycles in Bicycle Lanes

21210                    Bicycle Parking

21211                    Obstruction of Bikeways or Bicycle Paths or Trails

21212                    Youth Bicycle Helmets: Minors

Bicycle Law in California

Bicycle law in all U.S. states is determined by the law in each state. In California, the California Vehicle Code is the set of traffic laws that governs the behavior of vehicle drivers in the state. CVC 21200 establishes that a bicyclist “has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this division” (“this division” is Division 11, the “Rules of the Road”), but there are some sections of the code that address bicyclists specifically.

CLICK HERE to read complete Wikipedia article.

Cycles on Roadways VC 21650.1

A bicycle operated on a roadway or highway shoulder shall be operated in the same direction as vehicles are required to drive upon the roadway.

Bicycling on Freeways VC 21960

a) The Department of Transportation and local authorities may prohibit or restrict the use of freeways or any portion thereof by bicycles.

  1. b)Such prohibitory regulations shall be effective when appropriate signs giving notice thereof are erected upon the freeway and the approaches thereto.

Hand Signals. VC 22111

All required signals given by hand and arm shall be given in the following manner:

Left turn-hand and arm extended horizontally beyond the side of the bicycle.

Right turn- left hand and arm extended upward beyond the side of the bicycle or right hand and arm extended horizontally to the right side of the bicycle.

Stop or sudden decrease of speed signal- left hand and arm extended downward beyond the side of the bicycle.

Toll Crossing. VC 23330

Except where a special permit has been obtained from the Department of Transportation, bicycles shall not be permitted on any vehicular crossing, unless the Department by signs indicates that bicycles are permitted upon all or any portion of the vehicular crossing.

Headsets and Earplugs. VC 27400

No person operating any vehicle, including a bicycle shall wear any headset covering, or any earplugs in, both ears. There are exceptions for persons operating authorized emergency vehicles, special construction or maintenance equipment and refuse collection equipment, and for any person wearing personal hearing protectors designed to attenuate injurious noise levels and which do not inhibit the wearers’ ability to hear a siren or horn from an emergency vehicle or horn form another motor vehicle, and for any person using a prosthetic device which aids the hard of hearing.