As a Los Angeles car accident and bicycle lawyer, this is a question I’m asked very often. In fact, just this morning my office received an inquiry from a cyclist who was ticketed by LAPD for running a stop sign while biking to work.
Bicycle safety is a topic I’m passionate about. I’ve written extensively about it (including in this week’s Jewish Home newspaper), and have given bicycle safety presentations in local Jewish day schools and yeshivas. If I can educate one more cyclist to follow the rules and avoid being in an accident, I’ve done my job.
California Vehicle Code Section 21200 states that a person riding a bicycle upon a highway has all the rights, and is subject to all the provisions of the Vehicle Code. In plain English, this means that a bicycle is considered a “vehicle” under California law. It means that bicyclists have to stop at stop signs and obey all other traffic laws just like motorists.
We’ve all seen cyclists blow through stop signs–I’ve probably even done it before myself! Nevertheless, it’s illegal, and it’s downright dangerous.
If you’re riding your bike, please stop at the stop sign and obey all traffic laws. It just might save your life.
For questions about your case, or for a free bicycle safety handout, my office is one phone call away. 213-293-6075.