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10. Sharing the Road

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Sharing with Bicycles

As you may recall, the definition of a pedestrian did not include bicycles. This is because bicycles are legally considered to be vehicles in California. Therefore, bicyclists are required to obey most of the same laws and have most of the same rights as automobile drivers.
The motor vehicle code addresses issues associated with the registration, necessary equipment, and operation of bicycles on the roadway.

Bicycles must follow many of the same rules as motor vehicles including:
•    stopping for stop signs and red lights
•    riding with the flow of traffic
•    use of left-hand turn lanes and arm signals
•    speeding laws
•    rules against impeding traffic
•    using lights at night
•    yielding the right-of-way when entering a roadway
•    laws prohibiting riding while intoxicated

However, there are some differences between the laws for motorists and those for bicyclists. For example, bicyclists in certain age groups must wear helmets, and there are special signs that bicyclists must follow that automobiles do not.

Responsibilities of a Bicyclist

As a bicyclist, you should know the rules of the road and be able to apply them to bicycle riding. You should also know how to ride safely to avoid collisions.

Riding on the left side of the street, against traffic, is one of the most dangerous things a bicyclist can do. By riding against traffic, bicyclists approach intersections and driveways from a direction that is unexpected to motorists and out of their normal sight pattern Cyclists may also not see traffic control devices that apply to them.

Bicycles must ride on the roadway, not the sidewalk. However, they must use bicycle lanes, when available. Bicyclists should normally ride in a straight line as near to the right curb or edge of the roadway as is practical, but always a car-door's length away from parked vehicles.
Bicyclists can legally move left from the right edge of the roadway to turn left, pass a parked or moving vehicle or bicycle, and to avoid hitting animals, debris, or other road hazards. Bicyclists may also ride near the left curb or edge of the roadway on one-way streets.
They may ride side-by-side (two abreast) on roadways. Bicyclists may only travel more than two abreast on a shoulder, bike lane or bike path intended for bike use if there is sufficient space. However, they must be in single file when passing vehicles, pedestrians, or other bicyclists.

Lesson Summary


  

Lesson 10 Quiz


You will now answer 5 questions to test what you learned during this lesson. You must answer all questions correctly to receive completion credit for this lesson. You may answer the questions as many times as necessary to get them right.

You should review the lesson material if you don't do well on the quiz.

  1. Pedestrians comprise about what ratio of traffic fatalities?


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  2. In the United States, a bicyclist is killed:


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  3. The most common collision in a work zone is from:


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  4. If you fail to stop for a school bus with flashing red lights:


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  5. An orange trianglular sign on the back of a vehicle means:


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