Several members of our legal team participated in last weekend’s CicLavia event in Studio City and North Hollywood. The event, called CicLAvia, took place on March 22 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. along Ventura and Lankershim Boulevards in the San Fernando Valley cities of Studio City and North Hollywood. The 5.5-mile route included food trucks and music at four designated stops, along with nature walks, a scavenger hunt and other activities near the Los Angeles River. Participants were also treated to an iPhone app that interacted with their surroundings and played music, nature sounds and historical clips. During this event, bicyclists, pedestrians, skaters and others participants using non-motorized transportation enjoy riding along various streets in the Los Angeles area without fear of being hit by a car.
The California Bicycle law firm of Nadrich & Cohen with 23 offices throughout California provide the following information for its public.
In 2013 California passed a “Three Feet Separation Safety Act”. It became effective on September 16, 2014. This new law requires that an automobile shall not overtake or pass if it is proceeding in the same direction at a distance of less than three feet from any part of the bicycle or its operator.
A new senate bill seeks to amend the existing California Vehicle Code, requiring all bicyclists to wear a helmet. Existing state law only requires helmets for riders under 18, but if the state senate approves S.B. 192, it will mean big changes for cyclists of all ages. The new bill was introduced on February 11th by Senator Carol Liu (D – La Canada Flintridge), and also stipulates that riders must wear reflecting clothing when riding at night.
- Wear highly visible clothes so all drivers can see you. At night wear flashing lights even on your clothes.
- Obey all traffic laws and always stay in the bicycle lane whenever possible. Never swerve or zig-zag in and out of traffic. That is very dangerous.
- Insurance. Purchase auto insurance that covers accidents involving uninsured or underinsured drivers. That will provide you with coverage if you are involved in an accident with an automobile including a hit and run driver.
- After a crash keep cool at all times. Do not be intimidated and do not flee.
- If you are hit by a car, try to record the license plate number on a piece of paper or even take a photo of the license plate.
- Get off the road and call 911. After answering the police dispatcher about your injuries immediately tell the dispatcher all about the car including the license plate. And if the driver has fled tell the dispatcher the direction of travel of the vehicle.
A November 29th, 2014 Los Angeles Times cover story concluded there has been a 42% increase of hit and run accidents involving bicycles. In other words, a car hits a bicyclist and just takes off.