Is It Legal to Bike Against the Flow of Traffic?

Is It Legal to Bike Against the Flow of Traffic?

It’s summer time now, and that means more cyclists are out and about enjoying the outdoors.

I was asked by a local teenager whether it’s legal for him to ride his bike against the flow of traffic.

The answer depends on where this cyclist is riding.

I’ve discussed in the past how a recent California case, Spriesterbach v. Holland, analyzed this issue.

In that case, the Court made a distinction between whether the cyclist rides against traffic on the sidewalk or the street.

The takeaway from the case is that riding against the flow of traffic on the sidewalk is legally permissible as long as it’s legal to ride on the sidewalk in the first place in that city.

The answer to whether a cyclist may ride against traffic on the street can be found in the Vehicle Code.

Section 21650.1 states “a bicycle operated on a roadway, or the shoulder of a highway, shall be operated in the same direction as vehicles are required to be driven upon the roadway.”

This means that it is unlawful to ride your bike on the street against the flow of traffic.

Unfortunately, this is the cause of far too many bicycle accidents here in Los Angeles.

If you are a cyclist yourself, or know someone who is, please help spread the word that riding against the flow of traffic on the street is illegal and highly likely to lead to a painful collision with a car.

And when it’s car versus bike, car always wins.

For questions about your Los Angeles auto or bicycle accident case, the Rabbi Lawyer is ready to assist, 24/6!