Protecting Your Rights - California Bicycle Coalition

Protecting Your Rights

Our Protecting Your Rights Initiative implements the third strategy in CalBike's strategic plan: protecting people who ride bicycles by improving the respect we receive from motorists and the legal system. 

We work with the Department of Motor Vehicles to improve the driver's manual and driver testing. We provide expert testimony and advice to judges, the California Highway Patrol, and to local police and other agencies, whenever a bicyclist's rights are in question. We work hard to prevent highway closures by Caltrans.

We change the laws to emphasize safety. We won the Three Feet for Safety Act in 2013 to make clear that motorists must give plenty of space when passing somebody on a bicycle. In 2016 we're working to clarify that sometimes, bicyclists really are allowed to ride two abreast. Legalize hand-holding!

We work to prevent unfair enforcement of the laws, especially where enforcement actions target people of color or low-income people. In 2015, we won a change to the Vehicle Code that allows people ticketed when riding bicycles to take a bicycle education course in lieu of paying the fine. 



From the Blog

Our Campaigns

  • Bike Education

    We push for changes to the driver’s manual, and more bicycle education classes, so that motorists and people on bikes will understand the rules of the road, and the rights and responsibilities of people riding bicycles.

    photo: Bike East Bay

    Learn more >>

  • Three Feet for Safety

    In 2013, after three years of intensive legislative advocacy, our Three Feet for Safety Act became law. The law requires motorists to give at least three feet of clearance when passing people riding bikes. It went into effect in October of 2014, and our focus since then has been on getting the word out through our Give Me 3 Campaign.

    This law can only be effective if people know about it. When the... Learn more >>

  • Legalize Hand-Holding: Riding Two Abreast

    You’re riding on a quiet street, or in a lane too narrow to share, so you take the lane. If you’re riding with your sweetie, you ride side-by-side. Maybe your sweetie is your child whom you’re instructing on safe riding practices or pointing out interesting things in the neighborhood. It’s safe; it’s legal; it makes no difference to other road users because you’re occupying the whole lane whether it’s you alone or with your riding... Learn more >>

  • Full Lane for Safety

    1024px-MUTCD_R4-11.svg.pngSafe bicyclists know that riding in the center of a narrow right lane is legal and often the safest place to ride, but motorists and police don’t know this because the law is poorly written.

    Too many times, they harass or even cite bicyclists doing this. It’s not fair to the victims of harassment, and it’s unsafe because it causes most people to ride in the... Learn more >>

How you can help

Spread the word!