Fix-it-Tickets: New Bicycle Helmet Law

New California Law

California Highway Patrol has always been advocates for the safety of all forms of transportation, for all ages. Yet, they are now making efforts to increase the safety for children. While those of any age should be riding safely, there is a new law designated for those under the age of 18. This new California law (AB-3077) provides all law enforcement with the ability to write a “fix-it-ticket” to those under 18 who doesn’t wear a helmet while riding a bicycle, skateboard or skates. 


The fix-it-tickets designed to encourage minors and their guardians to get a safety helmet – within a reasonable amount of time. “Fix-it-tickets” are unique because they are arranged to be correctable. This “fix-it-ticket” is correctable if the minor gets a helmet and completes a bicycle safety course within 120 days of that ticket being issued. The violation of this is an infraction punishable with a fine of up to $25. This does also fall onto the parent or legal guardian of the minor. This provision is jointly liable. 

The helmet must be within safety standards meaning it is the correct size for the child’s age and head size. It should fit snug to provide safety in the occurrence of a fall or other accident. Bicycle safety courses that can be completed are very informative about bike safety for all ages. 

Bicycle Safety

When laws like this arise, it is only done for the protection of the minor. These laws work to keep everyone safe on the road together. Often times kids (and adults too) might not feel a helmet is necessary. Helmets protect from traumatic brain injury during an accident. Serious brain injury can occur even when traveling at low speeds. Along with increased safety, there is another positive note about laws like this arising – Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies are recognizing the significance of all forms of transportation. 

Feel free to contact The Bicycle Lawyer about California laws and bicycling.

Is a Vest Air Bag The Bike Safety Feature of the Future?

B’Safe’s Vest Air Bag

Typically you don’t see a lot of cycling innovation at CES, but this year, alongside its other technological marvels, B’Safe company showcased their vest air bag made specifically for cyclists. This vest comes in two parts, the electronic unit mounted to the saddle to pick up signals and an inflatable vest to protect the wearer.

How this B’Safe product works is that the saddle mounted unit features an accelerometer that detects sudden shocks, like from being hit. It also uses a motion sensor to detect other accidents that don’t involve being struck, but cause the rider to fall off their bike. Once either of these sensors are triggered, it causes a replaceable CO2 cartridge to inflate an airbag located throughout the vest in under 80 milliseconds. The vest also runs on a battery that needs to be recharged every seven days. The battery is activated when the vest is zipped, and turned off when the zipper is undone.

This vest cradles the chest and back areas from impact and injury. When used in conjunction with a helmet, it provides safety to all the crucial parts of the body. However, now comes the downside. Right now, this safety system is priced at $700, which is quite a price to pay for safety. While the vest does serve as an extra layer of protection and allows better visibility on the road, it may take a few price drops before this system catches on among cyclists.

Accidents Happen

Even if you can afford the expense of increased safety, if you get into an accident, your damages and injuries should not be your responsibility if the accident was due to the negligence of another. If you have been in a cycling accident, contact us today to see what we can do to help you get the compensation that you deserve.


Study Shows Cars Pass Closer to Cyclists Wearing Helmets

Bicycle Safety

Everyone knows that wearing a helmet helps keep you safe in the event of a cycling accident, but one study shows that wearing a helmet may also make cars feel safer around you. Unfortunately, that’s not really a good thing.

Cyclists Wearing Helmets

The study, originally conducted in 2007, has been the topic of much debate over the years, but it has finally been solidly reaffirmed and published in Accident Analysis & Prevention. The study conducted originally followed a psychologist that road the same stretches on his bicycle with a concealed camera and a ultrasonic sensor. Over 200 miles of riding and 2,355 encounters with cars with and without a helmet, he found that on average, cars passed around 3 to 5 inches closer when a rider was wearing a helmet. He also found that cars gave the widest berth to women on a bicycle without a helmet, which he tested by wearing a wig on some rides.

This study is problematic for cyclists and the cycling community that continues to be divided on the issue of helmets. Should you take this as an excuse to not wearing your bicycle helmet? Probably not. While the closer pass distance makes accidents more likely, the lack of a helmet while riding will make any accident more devastating.

A Solution?

Ideally, the solution to this would be for more states to pass mandatory safe distance passing laws for motorists and make sure they are enforced. However, when the passing distance is in a matter of inches closer, even law enforcement couldn’t enforce that. As such, this just adds another branch to the fire in the  eternal debate in the cycling community on whether helmets make riders safer or less so.

Cycling Accident

Have you been in a cycling accident? If so, you were likely subject to substantial injury, and you deserve compensation to cover those medical bills. If you want representation for a cyclist – by a cyclist – contact us today to see what Gary Brustin can do to help.

Cyclist Dies Trying to Prevent a Hit and Run

Hit and Run Accidents

Hit and run accidents are a serious problem among the cycling community. In cities across the United States, drivers are more likely to strike a cyclist and drive away than they are when they hit another vehicle. It could be said that striking an unprotected person on a bicycle is more panic-inducing than hitting a person in the protective shell of a car, but there is no excuse for hit and run accidents ever.

In the News

Unfortunately, a recent hit and run accident for cyclists turned deadly for a different reason in Long Beach. In this incident, two friends were riding down the street when one was struck by a Ford Expedition. After the accident, the driver of the car sped off, and the victim’s riding companion peddled after him.

The cyclist eventually ended jumping on the hood to try and stop the fleeing driver. Even as the car swerved, trying to throw the cyclist off, the cyclist tried to reach into the car to turn off the ignition. Unfortunately, after a half-mile, the cyclist was thrown off, and after hitting his head on the curb, passed away.

In a small bit of fortune, the first victim walked away with only minor injuries, but the perpetrator ended up fleeing after abandoning the vehicle. While this is a story almost straight out of an action movie, it shows how innately angry cyclists are at the frequency of hit and run accidents in their community. Unfortunately, it ended poorly for the cyclist trying to get justice for their friend.


Hit and run accidents are difficult not only for seeking legal action but if there is no one else to report the accident, then it can turn even more serious for the victim who needs medical attention. If you were involved in a cycling accident, even if it was a hit and run, contact us today. The Law Office of Gary Brustin can help you seek justice.

Colorado Adds Opt-In Rolling Stop Cycling Law

Rolling Stop Law

The “Idaho stop” or rolling stop law for cyclists has been pervasively spreading across the United States over the past year. However, while this is great news for cyclists, it doesn’t leave a lot of room for local governments with perhaps different cycling laws to have a voice. This is just what Colorado was concerned with when the rolling stop rolled on up to the doors of state government.

However, unlike other states that have allowed it, Colorado took a more cautious route. They approved the rolling stop for cyclists but ultimately left setting restrictions on speed and implementation up to the local communities in the state.

Colorado is already quite friendly to cyclists, and in that regard, a number of cities already have their own cycling laws on the rolling stop. Furthermore, the state government recognizes that not every intersection is right for it.

Local Communities

This new law allows for communities to opt-in to adopt the Idaho stop for their community as well as regulate what is considered a “reasonable speed” to roll on through. This comes after a failed bill from 2017 that had addressed the same issue but ultimately failed due to conflicts with cyclist laws that had already been put into place in popular Colorado cycling cities.

Around the Country

This sets a great precedent for other states considering the issue of rolling stops for cyclists. It shows that this issue can be shot down if it conflicts with other community laws, but by offering it as a more opt-in affair, it can be adapted for the whole state.

Unfortunately, while this makes it safer for many cyclists, accidents will still happen. If you have been in a cycling accident and need a lawyer to represent you who understand your pain, contact us today. Let Gary Brustin, a fellow cyclist, and his law office come to your aid.

The Idaho Stop is Stopping by Other States

Bicycle Laws

Bike laws are always transforming. Sometimes they focus on the safety requirements for bicyclists, such as under what circumstances a helmet is mandatory or when bicyclists should stay off the road. Other times, the laws are about penalties and precedents: some behaviors (like walking to cross a pedestrian lane) automatically put the burden or liability on the driver involved in a collision. But sometimes the law change how bicyclists should read road signs, and it’s just as important to keep an eye on those updates.

What’s an Idaho stop?

In 1982, Idaho passed a law that let bicyclists downgrade their responses to traffic signs. A red light became a stop sign, and a stop sign became a signal to yield. Delaware adopted the idea last year, and Colorado adapted part of it to fit their road rules earlier this year. Utah is also considering it.

The law was designed to make the roads make more sense for cyclists. Bikes don’t brake and restart the same way cars can, and Idaho had a lot of bikers with technical violations filling up their court space. With the Idaho stop, cyclists and cars both paid more attention to the purpose of stop signs and lights: safety and right-of-way.

But there’s still a lot of contention surrounding the idea of Idaho stops. Some organizations think having separate rules for cyclists and drivers will cause confusion, both for people on bicycles and drivers not expecting a bicycle to “run” a red light. But supporters of the laws maintain that Idaho stops make more sense with the flow of bike riding and aren’t hard to intuit.

California has seen a few proposed bills and resolutions about these rolling stops, and San Francisco has looked into it separately. Whether you’re for or against the idea, it’s another factor to keep in mind if you plan biking across any state or city lines. Go to the Law Office of Gary Brustin for more updates and bike safety news.

Bicyclist Killed During Tour de Palm Springs

The Mercury News reported on February 13 that a 49-year-old man was killed while participating in the Tour de Palm Springs charity bicycle ride on February 10. According to the Associated Press, the 21-year-old driver faces vehicular manslaughter charges but was released after posting $75,000 bail.

The News reported that a 50-year-old woman was also seriously injured in the crash, but the newspaper could not confirm the claims of an Orange County bicycling advocate that a third cyclist also suffered serious injuries. According to the News, the driver was reportedly traveling 100 mph in a 55 mph zone when he lost control of his 2006 Ford Five Hundred.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise reported on February 12 that the 21-year-old offender was driving on a suspended license. California Department of Motor Vehicles records showed the driver’s license had been suspended since December 4 for being a negligent vehicle operator as well as failures to appear, according to the Press-Enterprise.

Tour de Palm Springs is a charity bike ride of various lengths in the Coachella Valley. According to the AP, the 49-year-old man killed in the February 10 crash was participating in the 100-mile ride event.

It is an unfortunate truth that many bicycle accidents in California are the result of some kind of motorist negligence. Even though drivers are expected to share the road with bikes and respect their presence, inattentive or simply impatient drivers frequently cause devastating accidents.

Bicyclists are not afforded the same level of protection inherent to automobiles, so the nature of the injuries they suffer is often quite severe. Depending on the number of vehicles involved, how far a bicyclist is thrown from his or her bike, and whether a cyclist strikes any other objects, people may sustain traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), spinal cord injuries, or possibly fatal injuries.

Even when they are fortunate enough to survive these crashes, it can take several months or years—possibly even a lifetime—to recover from bicycle accident injuries. In some cases, victims not only may be unable to maintain any regular employment, but they can also require very costly full-time assistance with a variety of everyday tasks.

If you suffered severe injuries or your loved one was killed in a bicycle accident anywhere in California, it is in your best interest to seek legal representation as soon as possible. Contact the Law Offices of Gary C. Brustin right now to take advantage of a free, no-obligation consultation that will allow our experienced personal injury attorney to provide a complete evaluation of your case. Contact us today.

Michigan Considers Adding Bicycle Safety to Driver’s Education Curriculum

Any cyclist knows that the biggest danger on the road is other drivers. It is not even because motorists are acting somehow malicious to cyclists either. Most of the time, accidents involving cyclists are caused purely because a motorist doesn’t know how to share the road. However, Michigan lawmakers are considering forcing the next generation of drivers to learn by adding bicycle safety to their driver’s education curriculum.

The House Committee on Transportation moved this bill to the Michigan House floor. In it, the bill states that driver’s education curriculum would now include at least one hour of instruction on the laws and safety revolving around bicycles, motorcycles, pedestrians, and anything else classified as vulnerable roadway users. As there are already pieces of curriculum for pedestrians and motorcycles, this will be more centered on bicycle safety than anything else.

Co-sponsors and supporters of this bull state that motorists are often confused by the number of different bicycle pathways that are appearing in many Michigan communities. This is especially true when it comes to bicycle pathways that are installed between roads and parking areas. Some drivers may know that they are not allowed into bicycle lanes, but then they don’t know how to park without just zipping through them.

Hopefully, the bill, which is now being voted on, passes and goes into law. While it won’t do anything for many of the drivers on the road today, it does paint a potentially safer future for cyclists as more teens take to the road with full knowledge of how to share the road with bicycles.

Unfortunately, until everyone becomes educated on how to share the road with bicycles, accidents will still happen. If you have been in a cycling accident with a motorist, you need someone who is in your corner. Contact us so the Law Office of Gary Brustin can make sure you get the compensation that your injuries deserve.

The Newest Innovation is in the Bicycle Spokes

Over the years we have seen lighter frames, sturdier wheels, and a number of seat designs. However, throughout all that, the spokes of the average bicycle have pretty much stayed the same. However, one Minnesota-based bicycle company aims to change that with new bicycle spokes made of fabric.

While the spokes at Berd (think Bike + Nerd) are a little more complicated than fabric, the high molecular weight polyethylene spokes, dubbed PolyLight, are an innovation without a doubt. These newly designed spokes are not only stronger than their traditional steel counterparts but are only a fraction of the weight.

The PolyLight material is no stranger to use in sporting goods. Due to its lightweight, resistance to abrasion, impact, and UV damage, they have been used in everything from backpacks to sailboat rigging. Now they will replace steel in using tension to support the wheel instead of being weight supporting pillars like steel.

While these spokes will create an even lighter bicycle, something to marvel considering how light bikes get now, they do come at a price. Unfortunately, that price is, well, the actual price. Traditional steel spokes run at about $4 per spoke, but these new PolyLight spokes run at twice the price at $8 per spoke. This means if you wanted to run out and replace them right now, it will cost a fair bit. However, the benefit is because they support tension instead of weight, the PolyLight spokes will actually likely last you longer.

While upgrading your bicycle is part of the fun of being a frequent bicycle rider, getting into accidents is what makes it not so much fun. If you have been in an accident and need an advocate who is on your side so you can recover damages for your bicycle and your medical bills, contact us today. Let the Law Office of Gary Brustin help you.

Utah Becomes the Next State to Consider the Idaho Stop

Joining Colorado, Delaware, and a number of other states, Utah legislation has become the next state to consider passing the “Utah Yield” law for cyclists. While called a different name, there is no doubt that the Utah Yield follows the same rules as the Idaho Stop, something that has been in place for cyclists in Idaho since 1982.

Under the proposed law, Utah cyclists would be able to treat stop signs as yield signs and red lights as stop signs. Right now House Bill 58 sits in front of Utah legislature, but many cyclists are rooting for it. They argue that traffic laws throughout the United States were created specifically for motor vehicles, and while it makes them safer, it is not as safe for cyclists.

In support of the bill, many lobbying for it have presented facts that most cyclists end up breaking traffic laws anyway when they put their safety before the law because intersections are by far and wide the most dangerous spots for cyclists.

While there are no discernible groups lobbying against making the “Utah Yield” into a law for cyclists, it is still up in the air as to whether their bill will pass. While there is a huge cycling community in Utah, many lawmakers are still stuck in the past when it comes to their attitude on traffic laws. They’ve been presented the statistics on how the Idaho Stop has made cyclists safer in other states, but whether they will consider them is still to be determined.

Until laws are made and action is taken, any cyclist that gets on the road is in some peril, and they shouldn’t be. If you have been in an accident while on your bicycle, then you need an advocate who you can trust that is in your corner. If you have been in an accident and need representation, contact us today.

Are Streetcar Tracks an Accident Waiting to Happen for Cyclists?

There has been some controversy coming from the cyclists of Seattle that the streetcar tracks in the city are a “death trap” to city cyclists. Most notably of the story was the death of a young behavioral neuroscientist that was cycling through the city only to be launched from her bike due to the First Hill Streetcar tracks and killed as a result of her injuries.

Unfortunately, her death brought attention to the issue, but she was not the last cyclist injury to be reported from the city. While Seattle’s streetcar tracks are dangerous, they are not the first city to have both cyclists and streets cars. What makes the streetcar tracks in Seattle different from those in San Francisco, for example? The answer is attention to safety. In other cities with both streetcars and a booming cyclist population, the city has paid attention to implementing safety features for those that need to cross over the tracks. It seems this safety issue was an oversight in Seattle.

While cars in the city may be able to safely cross over these tracks, as well as pedestrians with the right amount of care, the gaps in the tracks are too wide for a bicycle to safely span with their thin tires. In most cases, with enough speed, many cyclists who use the bicycle lanes near these tracks can bridge the gap, but the issue comes with their wheels are turned just right amount. In most of the injury and fatality cases, the cyclist had to move to avoid an obstacle and their tire was angled just right to catch in the tracks.

While some cities have protection for cyclists and pedestrians in their streetcar tracks, Seattle cyclist still remain in danger. Have you been hurt while cycling by streetcar tracks, cars, or otherwise? Then contact us today to see what we can do for you.


Is Bicycle-to-Vehicle Communication the Way of the Future?

Announced at CES, a collaboration by Trek Bicycle, Ford Motor Company, and Tome Software has decided to tackle the rising rate of cyclist fatalities by creating a bicycle-to-vehicle communication system.

There have been great strides in V2V or vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems such as the ability for cars to stop if it senses the other vehicle braking suddenly. However, B2V communication will, obviously, be a little more difficult as the onboard systems of a vehicle are a little different from a bicycle, specifically because a bicycle typically doesn’t have any onboard systems.

This is where Tome Software and Trek Bicycle have aimed to team up. Tome is set to develop the software to communicate with cars and Trek is set to implement it in their newer models. This AI-based software is focused on giving drivers of both vehicles alerts of potentially dangerous conditions such as the cyclist or car intends to turn or is decreasing in speed suddenly.

Initially, this software will roll out with their auto partner, Ford, to make sure that Trek cycles and Ford cars communicate. With any luck, the B2V communication system will grow and become compatible with other vehicle models. However, there still are some kinks to work out.

While this system will likely work very well in more suburban areas where there are only a few cars and a few bicycles, it may not be as viable in urban areas where the cyclist may very well be pinged almost every minute by cars that are perceived as a threat to it. However, the B2V communication system is still in development and hopefully, extensive testing will prevent this issue.

While bicycle-to-vehicle communication still has some issues, it could be a potentially great way to help cyclists and cars safely share the road in the future. Until then, accidents are still going to happen. If you are an injured cyclist and need representation, contact us today.