January 7, 2016
Bicycle laws have dominated San Francisco’s headlines as of late. What’s the big debate? On the table is a proposal that if passed, will likely do nothing to stop opponents’ tongue-wagging. On the other hand, it will give local cyclists a bit of relief when it comes to certain traffic violations, like “failure to stop.”
As it stands now, a decision on the fate of the bicycle law won’t be made until the third week of December. So until then, riders must adhere to state and local ordinances as originally written. State laws regarding failure to stop or yield may be found in Vehicle Code Section 21200-21212. They are very clear about cyclists’ duties. As such, many local authorities have simply framed their own ordinances around them.
With that said, proposed revisions to the city’s local bicycle laws may be a departure from the state’s norm but they’re reflective of what’s going on nationwide. In the last few years, a number of states have rewritten their vehicle codes to accommodate a growing interest in cycling, green transportation and bicycle tourism. They’ve also taken a hard look at whether or not law enforcement should be issuing tickets to cyclists in the first place.
It should also be noted that according to a May 2015 article in Forbes magazine, San Francisco is already widely considered one of the top friendliest places to ride a bike. The list of other California cities to land on Forbes’ radar includes, but isn’t limited to Oakland and Long Beach. Thus, it’s safe to assume that whatever authorities decide later this month, it is likely to have implications beyond San Francisco County.
To learn more about the changing paradigm towards bicycle laws and their enforcement, please contact California attorney Gary Brustin today for a consultation. He has devoted many years towards the sport and the protection of his fellow cyclists.