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California bicycle laws and safety
 

California bicycle laws and safety

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  • May 30, 1896. Wells v. Ms. Thomas – Broadway & W 74th St. NYC. Statute declaring bicycles have the same rights AND responsibilities as other “vehicles”
  • Brakes - NYC 1888 – Cyclists v. Horse CarriagesLights and Reflectors – Maximize conspicuity (White front lamp emitting light 300 feet,Red rear reflector visible from 500 feet,White or yellow pedal reflector visible 200 feet)Bells / Horns (Not usually required. Be aware of city laws)Helmets (Under 18, yes. Be aware of city laws)
  • Majority of bike accidents are non-MVA related (cyclist error…think road laws don’t apply). According to Police – 80% of MVA-bike accidents are fault of cyclist.

California bicycle laws and safety California bicycle laws and safety Presentation Transcript

  • Tel: (805) 544-0100Web: harrispersonalinjury.com 689 Tank Farm Rd. Suite 240 San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
  • An Introduction to Your Legal Right to Ride A Personal Injury Law Firm Serving California’s Central Coast HarrisPersonalInjury.com
  • The Duty of Care  Assumption of Risk  “You knew the risk and took it anyway”  Proper Lookout  Obligation of “driver” to be aware of plainly visible hazards / potential hazards  Unsafe Pass  Defined by statute or “Due Care”  California = “safe distance” State. SB 910 required 3ft passing distance – Vetoed  Following Too Closely and Motorpacing 1. Traffic offense: following another vehicle more closely than is reasonable / prudent 2. Speed racing on a highway 3. Reckless driving misdemeanor (driving record) 4. Bonus: Insurance policy excludes race or contest related accidents A Personal Injury Law Firm Serving California’s Central Coast HarrisPersonalInjury.com
  • The Duty of Care (Continued)  Traffic Signals  Proper stop = Complete stop AND looking for / yielding to other vehicles  No such thing as a “bicycler’s stop”  Not triggering a sensor? – wait 3 minutes  Distracted Riding / Driving  Illegal to ride with two headphones in California  Proposed California ban on cellphone while cycling  Bicycling Under the Influence  DUI law applies, but different penalties  Where to Ride  “As close as possible practicable to the right”  Are bicycles allowed on sidewalks? > Yield to pedestrians. A Personal Injury Law Firm Serving California’s Central Coast HarrisPersonalInjury.com
  • Getting a Citation  “Do you know why I pulled you over?”  Good luck talking your way out of a ticket  Signing the citation is not an admission of guilt  Fighting a ticket?  Gather evidence at the scene / photos  Get an eyewitness  Research local laws and codes. Defense: Mistake of fact, legally justified, necessity defense  Be on time, look and speak the part A Personal Injury Law Firm Serving California’s Central Coast HarrisPersonalInjury.com
  • Equipment Laws A Personal Injury Law Firm Serving California’s Central Coast HarrisPersonalInjury.com
  • Motorist vs. Bicycle Accident Fault A Personal Injury Law Firm Serving California’s Central Coast HarrisPersonalInjury.com
  • Bicycle Accident Checklist  Wait for police to respond  Never admit fault  Make an official statement  Supplemental statements can be given  List ALL injuries, even minor ones  Get witness contact info  Seek prompt medical treatment  Preserve your evidence  Photos of injuries, equipment, clothes, etc.  Never release custody of evidence (only attorney)  Do not communicate with Insurance Co.  Consult with a bicycle injury lawyer  Free consultation – Contingency fee A Personal Injury Law Firm Serving California’s Central Coast HarrisPersonalInjury.com
  • California Liability Laws  California is a Tort Liability System state  Economic Loss, e.g. medical expenses, loss of earnings, etc.  Physical Pain  Mental Distress  Loss of the ability to enjoy life, e.g. fear of cycling  Loss of consortium  Wrongful death  Future damages  Punitive damages, e.g. gross negligence or criminal negligence  California is a Pure Comparative Negligence state  The injured person can recover damages for injures received and is liable for damages for injuries inflicted. E.g. 60% driver 40% cyclist is possible. A Personal Injury Law Firm Serving California’s Central Coast HarrisPersonalInjury.com
  • A Cyclist’s Guide to Insurance  Insurance Adjuster  A person with opposing economic interests  The Motorist’s Auto Policy  Primary insurance source, e.g. 15/30  Was the motorist at work during the collision?  Cyclist’s Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Policy  Secondary insurance if damages exceed insurance limits  Homeowner / Umbrella policies may also apply  Medical Payments Coverage  Pays medical bills without regard to liability  Medical Lien  Medical expenses guaranteed by your attorney  Subrogation  Reimbursement owed to health insurance, MedPay, etc. A Personal Injury Law Firm Serving California’s Central Coast HarrisPersonalInjury.com
  • Bike Law Trivia  When are you legally allowed to NOT use an available bike lane?  If you are traveling at the normal speed of traffic  If the potential “dooring” represents a reasonable hazard  When are you legally allowed to litter?  Never: Litter laws do not distinguish between biodegradable and other objects  When are you required to carry identification on a bicycle?  Exception to vehicle status – no statutory ID requirement  Citation = legal right to know ID. Good to have in case of injury.  When is “roadside relief” legally permissible?  Technically never – indecent exposure or disorderly conduct (rarely enforced)  Legal definition is “physically offensive to the public” (rural vs. public)  When are you legally allowed to ride on the sidewalk?  In most cases, always. Must yield to pedestrians A Personal Injury Law Firm Serving California’s Central Coast HarrisPersonalInjury.com