Have you ever been unsure what you’re supposed to do at an intersection while you’re riding a bike? Behaviors vary, from coming to a full stop to slowing down and proceeding once the coast is clear. So what’s the right thing to do for someone cruising the town on womens hybrid bikes? Read on for answers to common bicycle safety questions for California riders.
Do Bikes Have to Stop at Stop Signs?
Yes. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles for the State of California, bicyclists are required to follow all the same rules and regulations as motorists. That includes obeying stop signs and red lights. Cyclists are only allowed to cross an intersection at a yellow light if they can make it safely all the way through before the light turns red.
Has Obeying Stop Signs Always Been the Rule?
Yes, but there was a time a few years ago when the rule was in question. A bill presented to the California state legislature in 2017 proposed adopting what’s known as the “Idaho Stop,” essentially allowing cyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs. The nickname comes from Idaho, where cyclists have legally yielded instead of coming to a full stop for more than 30 years. Delaware adopted a similar yield rule in 2017. The California bill didn’t end up passing the legislature and didn’t become law. While some cities and municipalities have considered reducing enforcement of the regulation, state law remains is clear: you have to stop at stop signs.
What Are Some Other Safety Guidelines?
- Handlebars: Handlebars shouldn’t be taller than a rider’s shoulders.
- Bike Size: A rider should be able to stop, put a foot on the ground and start again safely. If they’re not able to do so, the bike is likely too big or the seat is set too high. Womens hybrid bikes and other styles come in a range of sizes, often with adjustable seats. Find the make frame for you and make safety adjustments as needed.
- Lights and Reflectors: If you’re riding at night, the state code requires a white headlight that’s visible from the front of the bike. Cyclists are also required to attach reflectors at night, including a red reflector visible from the back, a white or yellow reflector on each pedal, and reflectors visible from the side.
- Helmets: Riders younger than 18 are required to wear a helmet.
- Prohibited Items: A few things are prohibited while you’re riding a bike, including wearing headphones or earbuds that cover both ears, carrying items that keep you from having a hold on at least one handlebar, and riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Stay safe and alert while you ride!
Study up on current traffic laws before you hit the streets. Knowing the most recent rules will keep things safe for you and everyone else on the road. Up your safety game with a helmet and other accessories from a trusted vendor of womens hybrid bikes.