Bicycle laws

Dear Editor: This letter is in regards to the article “Police Cracking Down on Traffic Violators,” (3/5/15).

I am an AARP Safe Driver instructor and coordinator. My district covers the city of Downey. About every other month I teach an 8-hour class or a 5-hour class at the Downey Senior Center.

The subject in question is about bicycles. This is a question that always comes up in class.

A bicycle is considered a vehicle, which can legally use the street and covered by all laws and rights of an automobile.(page 63, California 2015 DMV Booklet). I did not see in the mentioned newspaper article of any issues of infractions related to the use of a bicycle on sidewalks.

The riding of adult bicycles on sidewalks is a daily occurrence. Bicyclists are using the sidewalk ramps found on all street corners (via a federal mandate) that are for the use of wheelchair access only. (page 52, California 2015 DMV booklet). California law states ‘bicyclists shall ride as near to the right curb or edge of the roadway as practical- not on the sidewalk.’ (page 64, California 2015 DMV booklet).

Upon asking different Downey officers at the Downey Police headquarters, I received different answer from different Downey police officers.

Some cities have made it legal to ride an adult bicycle on the sidewalk. What is the city of Downey’s policy?

Vince Diaz




Published: March 12, 2015 - Volume 13 - Issue 48