Many states, California included, have laws that state certain rules for cyclists riding after dark. One of the most important rules is the use of a bicycle light. Not only does a bicycle light help allow you to be seen, but it is also crucial to see the road in front of you. However, when exactly is a bicycle light required?
Knowing when you need a bicycle light also requires you to know when the sun rises and sets. For example, California requires the use of a bicycle light up to a half hour before sunrise and a half hour after sunset. Of course, this means the specifics of that law literally changes by the day. If the sun sets at 9 pm in July, then that bicycle light needs to be on at 9:30. If the sun sets a 5 pm in December, then the bicycle light needs to be on at 5:30.
Bicycle Citations and Accidents
However, what happens if you do not have a bicycle light on after dark? In California, you might face a citation, particularly if riding on highways. However, the most important thing to remember is if you get into an accident after dark without a bicycle light, suddenly you will find yourself with the fault in the accident. Even if a car veers straight for you, if you did not have a light on after dark, you will have fault in the accident and thus will not be able to recover as much compensation. This is why it is so important to be well-versed in the unique laws for cyclists. Your safety is the most important thing, but if the worst should happen, you will also want full coverage.
If you have been in a bicycle accident, contact us to see what the Law Office of Gary Brustin can do to help you.