If you are riding a bicycle in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California you should definitely be entering 2019 with extensive knowledge about the new bicycle laws that go into effect on January 1, 2019.
The last thing you would want is being stopped by a police officer who tells you that you are violating some new bicycle law in the state, and have no clue what he’s talking about! That’s why we invited our Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyer from Compass Law Group, P.C., to outline the new traffic laws in California that you should be aware of in 2019.
New bicycle laws in California that go into effect on Jan. 1, 2019
Under the new legislation, AB 1755, bicyclists will face punishment for failure to stop at the scene of an accident following a collision with another vehicle or pedestrian on a bike path. The new law extends the felony hit-and-run provisions to include bicycle riders on bike paths.
If you are a lucky owner of a motorized scooter in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California, you will no longer be required to wear a bicycle helmet when riding your scooter. The new law, AB 2989, abolished the helmet use law for riders of motorized scooters who are at least 18 years of age (however, you still have to wear a helmet if you are under 18). The same law also prohibits you to ride a motorized scooter on highways with a speed limit exceeding 25 mph and roads with a speed limit exceeding 35 mph, unless there is a marked bike path to ride on.
Fact: In 2019, it will still be prohibited by California law to ride a motorized scooter on sidewalks.
In fact, there is another law, AB 3077, that allows police officers and law enforcement agents to issue a “fix-it ticket” to individuals under 18 who do not wear a helmet while riding a bicycle, skateboard, or skates. If you were issued a fix-it ticket for failure to comply with the helmet use law, you can correct the offense by:
- completing bicycle safety classes; and
- purchasing a helmet that meets safety standards within four months (120 days) of the date the ticket was issued.
“You need to learn these new bicycle laws by heart, because police officers in California will be on the hunt for motorists, bicyclists, and drivers who violate the new laws in 2019,” warns our bicycle accident lawyer in Los Angeles.
Other California bicycle laws you should be aware of
But knowing the new bicycle laws that go into effect on January 1, 2019, is not enough to keep yourself safe and not violate traffic rules in California. Practice shows that many California cyclists violate other bicycle laws that have been in effect for years of even decades.
Specifically, we are talking about penalties imposed on bicyclists who ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs in California. Under California law, bicyclists who ride bikes under the influence of alcohol or drugs face a fine of up to $250 but no jail time.
Some of you might have noticed that penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) are much more severe than penalties for cycling under the influence (CUI), yet California cyclists caught operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs may still be charged with a misdemeanor offense, which will show up on their criminal record.
“In addition to that, if you chose to ride a bicycle while intoxicated in California and are under 21 years of age, a CUI conviction may result in a suspension of your driver’s license,” warns our Los Angeles bicycle accident attorney from Compass Law Group, P.C.
Discuss California’s bicycle laws that go into effect on January, 1, 2019, with our experienced bicycle accident lawyers.