Do You Need A License to Ride A Bicycle in Los Angeles?

Different countries and states have varying laws regarding modes of transportation. Each government makes decisions on laws and bylaws based on the environment they are in and local circumstances. 

Some of those legal statutes relate predominantly to the means of transport used daily. For example, in Los Angeles, the number of bike riders who use this mode of transportation to commute to work daily is quite high.

What has the local government decided on bicycle riders? Do they need a license to ride on public roads?

Bicycle licenses in Los Angeles

The department of transportation in California has enacted laws regarding the use of bicycles. Right now, bicycles have been recognized as a vehicle and categorized legally as such. Since bicycles are under the California Vehicle Code, this means riders need to get a license to ride them in cities like Los Angeles. 

Subsequently, bicycle riders have a set of rules they need to abide by and failure of following them might lead to fines. Bicycle riders that ride on public roads or highways should get a license to avoid problems with the authorities.

Licensed bicycle rider conduct

To maintain your license and avoid paying fines, there is a certain way you should conduct yourself on public roads and highways. Most of these rules are similar to those of vehicles or motorcycles. For example, a licensed bicycle rider should respect traffic signals, avoid facing traffic and ride at a safe speed.  

The rider is also obligated to give hand signals to other riders with ample time for them to understand and react to that signal. Minors under the age of 18 must use a helmet at all times. Failure to do this can lead to a $25 fine.

Riding under the influence

Bicycle riders are not permitted to drive under the influence of alcohol or any other drugs. In this case, strict sobriety rules apply and if a bicycle riders contravene this rule, they might face a $250 fine. If you are under the age of 21 years and were caught drunk or under the influence of narcotics, you might lose your riding privileges for one year. 

Another rule that comes with similar consequences is using headsets or earplugs while riding a bicycle. This is prohibited and licensed riders should avoid this practice by all means.

Prohibitions facing licensed bicycle riders

There are certain prohibitions for licenses bicycle riders, such as, allowing others to catch a ride in a bike not designed for this. If your bicycle does not have another extra designated seat, you do not have the authority to allow another passenger to ride.

You also aren’t permitted to hitch a ride by attaching the bicycle with another moving vehicle while riding it. There are also certain limitations to carrying items on the bike. For example, if a package is too large and makes it unsafe to operate a bicycle, you aren’t allowed to ride on a public road.

How can I get a bicycle license?

Each municipality has its own procedure to follow for citizens that need a bicycle license. You can visit your local office to get the requirements and process to follow. Generally, the bicycle will be required to have a brake that will make it stop on level pavement. 

A bicycle that can be allowed on public roads should have handlebars below the rider’s shoulders. A cyclist should also ride an appropriately sized bicycle that allows him to place one foot on the ground. These are the requirements you should expect when applying for a bicycle license.

The bottom line

Bicycles are a great way to travel; however, they are vehicles and can cause accidents, so you must be ready to be held accountable like motorists are. Being equally accountable as someone who drives a car means you will also have to follow the road rules and avoid traveling under the influence.

Familiarizing yourself with regulations designed specifically for cyclists and the condition they should keep their bikes in is very important. Knowing what is expected of you as a bicycle rider will help you get your license and will also keep you safe in the long run.

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