Rules of the Road for Bicyclists

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California drivers, especially Los Angeles drivers, are known for being fast, impatient, and rude. However, if there is one group of people that drivers are more cautious of, it is bicyclists.

What are the rules of the road car drivers and bicyclists?

  • When the biker is traveling slower than the cars, they must be as close to the right side of the road as possible unless they are passing, avoiding a dangerous/ hazardous condition, going to make a left, or approaching a right turn only lane but want to proceed straight. In those cases, the biker may move away from the right side of the road.
  • If there is a dedicated bike lane, the bicyclist must be in that lane unless they are passing, making a left, or avoiding a dangerous/ hazardous condition.
  • Bicyclists are to ride in the same direction as car traffic, not in the opposite direction. There are exceptions to this rule like if the street is a one-way or if the road is too narrow.
  • It is illegal to park on a bicycle path.
  • Bikes must be equipped with a visible white light in the front. They must also have reflectors: red in the back, white or yellow on the pedals, white or yellow on the front half of the bike, and red or white on each side on the back half of the bike.
  • Everyone 18 years or younger must wear a helmet. It is safe practice for adults to wear helmets as well.
  • It is illegal to drive and use a cell phone at the same time, but this law does not apply to bicyclists.
  • It is illegal to drive and have earphones in both ears, and this same law applies to bicyclists. One ear must be free of headphones and headsets.
  • It is illegal to bike while under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
  • Bicyclists are required to stop at stop signs and red lights, just like drivers.
  • Bicyclists are to yield right of way to pedestrians at crosswalks.

Bicyclist share many of the same rules and etiquette as drivers do and they are entitled to be on the road with cars. However, both parties need to be aware of each other in order to avoid collisions and potential fatalities. They also need to be aware of pedestrians on foot.

Just like car drivers, bicyclists can actually be cited for violating the above laws and others that were not named, like if they biked right through an intersection that they should have stopped at because there was a stop sign.


Whether you travel by foot, car, bike, bus, or anything else, knowing the rules of the road and what your rights are is very important for yourself and to keep the road safe for everybody!