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Teaching Our Youngest Riders Safe Biking Habits

December 31, 1969

We're focusing on bicycle safety, and we're talking about your children. According to the Costa Mesa Police Department, there are hundreds of citations handed out each year to children for bicycle and pedestrian violations.

The most common of these violations include riding on the wrong side of the roadway, riding double (with a passenger), riding outside of a designated bicycle lane, not wearing or improper wearing of a bicycle helmet, riding motorized scooters, walking against "Don't Walk" signals and even jaywalking. Although receiving a citation might not be the most exciting experience, it's these citations that are necessary to ensure bicycle and pedestrian safety in our city.
The truth of the matter is that 52,000 bicyclists were injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2010. Close to 20 percent (or about 9,000) of the bicyclists who were injured were age 14 and younger.

Our Costa Mesa bicycle accident lawyers are here to make sure that our youngest riders are safe out there. It's important that we're taking them out on rides and displaying the safety bicycling habits for them so that they can learn the best way to ride. Teach through example. When taking them out, make sure you're on a safe route. You can do this by checking This website offers riders with the safest and most convenient bicycling routes in the area.

The next step to safe riding is to understand your role out there. One of the best ways to do that is to make sure you and your child are familiar with the laws in the area. We're here with the California Vehicle Code (CVC) to help you get a little more familiar with that:

-Bicyclists have the same right as drivers of motor vehicles.

-You may not ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

-On each bicycle, you must have a working brake, handlebars no higher than your shoulders, a white light in the front, a red reflector in the back, yellow or white reflectors on each pedal and you must be able to stop safely and place one foot on the ground when stopped.

-You must ride as far over on the right side of the road as you can. Riding against traffic is prohibited.

-If you're riding on the road at a speed that is slower than normal traffic, you might ride as close to the right-hand curb as possible.

-You are not allowed to ride more than one person on a bicycle.

-You are required to always keep at least one hand on the handle bars.

-Riders under the age of 18 are required to wear a properly-fitted helmet.

-You are only allowed to cross the road at a crosswalk.

-When signaling a turn, you must do so at the last 100 feet traveled before turning.

If you follow these safe laws, your riding experience can be a little bit safer. But don't remember to be on the lookout for other travelers who aren't following these laws. Unfortunately, we can't rely on the safe habits of others to keep us safe.

Costa Mesa Personal Injury Lawyer VINCENT HOWARD at HOWARD LAW can help. Call toll-free at 1-800-872-5925 or send us a message online.

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