Bicycle Laws in California

Is it legal in Palm Springs, CA to ride a bicycle through a marked street crosswalk while riding on a designated bike trail?

- NOS, California


Great question. In California, the second that you begin peddling on a bicycle you are held to the same rules and responsibilities and as a person driving a car. According to the California Vehicle Code, bicyclists are considered drivers of a device so you are required to follow all of the signs, signals and laws that apply to motor vehicles. As a bicyclist, you are also required to yield to pedestrians whenever your paths cross. So, when you are riding a bicycle, you are no longer legally considered a pedestrian, and you must give the right of way to pedestrians in the crosswalk. However, if you were to get off your bike and walk it across the crosswalk, then you would be considered a pedestrian with the right of way. It is also considered illegal for bicyclists to ride through the crosswalk of an intersection that is adjacent to a school or is under the instruction of a school crossing guard. With every other crosswalk, however, you are encouraged to exercise due caution before crossing. You are also required to ride in the same direction as moving traffic and not against it, or you could receive a citation. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident or you have any further questions regarding California bicycle laws, please do not hesitate to contact my firm.

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