Is it Legal to Ride Bikes on Roads and Highways in Los Angeles County?

Riding a bicycle on roads and highways in Los Angeles County is subject to the California Vehicle Code (CVC). According to the CVC, cyclists must travel on the right side of the road in the direction of traffic. Highways are off-limits unless otherwise specified. When cycling slower than traffic, cyclists must stay close to the sidewalk and always drive with the flow of traffic, never against it.

The law on sidewalks varies from municipality to municipality, but in Los Angeles, cyclists can ride on the sidewalk as long as they are courteous to pedestrians and drive safely. To reduce the number of fatal bicycle accidents, Los Angeles encourages cyclists to practice safe driving rules, such as yielding and stopping before crossing the road. This could mean that bicycling could be legal on one side of the street, but illegal on the other. It is illegal to drive on the sidewalk at any time inside a designated commercial area, but it is permissible in residential neighborhoods. Cyclists should always use bicycle lanes if there are any on the road they are traveling on and, when leaving the bike path, it is necessary to give the appropriate signal to other bicycles on the bike path and to vehicles on the road to avoid any accident.

As long as cyclists are doing this, it's OK (but can be difficult in many areas) to ride side by side. California's bicycle helmet law applies to anyone under the age of 18 and includes children who ride in a bicycle seat or who are towed by a bicycle trailer. Most of the city of Los Angeles's lanes are 10 to 11 feet wide and bicyclists can use the full lane.

Adam Martabano
Adam Martabano

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