Q. Do cyclists have to obey vehicle laws?
A. California Vehicle Code Section 21200(a) states, "Every person riding a bicycle upon a highway has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this division. ..."
Cyclists must obey all of the rules of the road if they are riding on a road also occupied by vehicular traffic. They can be cited if they do not obey the rules.
The most common laws that come into play are: stopping at stop signs and red lights, signaling when turning, yielding to ascending traffic while going downhill on a narrow roadway, and laws regarding necessary equipment, such as lighting at night and helmets for juveniles.
CVC section 21202(a) also maintains that a cyclist traveling slower than vehicular traffic must ride as close to the right hand shoulder as possible.
Cyclists and motorists can absolutely get along by obeying all traffic laws, being courteous, and using common sense. The most important thing is everyone's safety. Please refer to www.dmv.ca.gov/about/bicycle for a complete listing of rules, regulations, and safety tips.
Deputy Stephanie Josephson, who patrols locally for the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office, answers your questions about law enforcement. Submit questions to editor@AlmanacNews.com; or call 854-2626 and leave a message on ext. 213; or mail questions to: Ask the Deputy, The Almanac, 3525 Alameda de las Pulgas, Menlo Park, CA 94025.