With 2019 here, it’s time to take a look at some of the new laws which will affect California cyclists. From fix-it tickets for minors who don’t wear their helmets to helmets no longer being needed on motorized scooters, here’s what you should know.
Helmet Fix-it Tickets:
Assembly Bill 3077 adds a new consequence for cyclists, skateboarders, skaters, and scooters who are under the age of 18. Now, they will get a “fix-it” ticket. It is a non-punitive citation that requires the cited individual to complete a bicycle safety course. Further, the minor will have to obtain a helmet that satisfies the safety standards and present it to the proper authorities within 120 days of receiving the ticket. If the law is violated, a fine up to $25 can apply.
Look Out for Motorized Scooters:
Depending on the decision of your local authority, you may encounter motorized scooters while riding your bike on Class IV bikeways or highways. Further, riders may be traveling at higher speeds than previously allowed and without helmets.
Approved on September 19, 2018, Bill 2989 authorizes local authorities in California to allow motorized scooters to ride at speeds up to 35 mph. Further, they can decide if motorized scooters are able to ride at higher speeds on Class IV bikeways. Lastly, riders are no longer required to wear a helmet if they are at least 18 years old.
The primary motivation behind this bill was to regulate the use of stand up e-scooters, which are an increasingly popular mode of transportation in cities like Los Angeles and Santa Monica. Being that they are an eco-friendly mode of transportation, authorities didn’t want to discourage riders by requiring a helmet. Further, where and how these scooters were used needed further regulation.
Prior to this bill, the maximum speed limit for a motorized scooter was 15 mph which will still apply on roads aside from highways and designated bikeways.
What is the definition of a motorized scooter? It is a device with two wheels, handlebars, a floorboard meant to be stood on while in operation, and an electric motor (or another source of non-electronic power).
What are Class IV bikeways? Class IV bikeways are protected bike lanes designed for cyclists and separate from motor vehicle traffic. Class 1, 11, 111 bikeways explained here.
Bike Lane Hit-and-Runs:
This bill was approved on July 20, 2018. It reaffirms that cyclists riding on highways have all the rights and are subject to the same provisions as drivers of vehicles, which are outlined in the Vehicle Code. However, the bill adds that cyclists riding on Class 1 bikeways will also be subject to the same requirements and rights that apply to drivers if the cyclist injures or kills another person. So if you are in an bike crash on a Class 1 bikeway and the other person gets hurt (or dies), you can’t leave until the authorities arrive or it will be considered a hit-and-run. If you violate this provision, it would be a crime punishable by a state-mandated local program.
If you have any questions about bike laws, cycling accidents, bicycle safety, or recovery after a bike accident, contact our legal team at Sariol Legal at 1-866-800-9399 for a free consultation.