Bicycle Accident Archive
Encinitas, California recently declared a state of emergency due to a tragic rise in e-bike crashes after the deaths of 15-year-old Brodee Champlain-Kingman in June and 35-year-old Christine Hawk-Embree last August. Brodee was riding an e-bike on South El Camino Real when he was struck by a commercial van. Christine was riding an e-bike home from the park with her 16-month-old daughter, Delilah, when a Toyota 4-Runner struck them. Delilah, who was strapped into a safety seat and wearing a helmet, was miraculously not hurt.
Bicycling is popular all over California, year-round in some areas. Whether you’re a serious bike commuter or a weekend cruiser, knowing California’s bike laws could keep you safer on the roads. California has improved legal protections for bikers, but the best protection for any biker is to be aware of your surroundings, and also be aware of the law.
Bicyclists may be commuting to work, riding for exercise, training for charity rides or just out to enjoy the day. Even wearing safety gear, bicyclists are not well protected in the event of a crash and much more likely to be seriously injured. Remember, bicyclists are our parents, friends, and neighbors with loved ones who are counting on them to return home safely. By following these safety tips, bicyclists and drivers can work together to help keep our roads safe for bicyclists.
Whether we drive cars or motorcycles, bike, or walk, the road belongs to everyone and everyone has a part to play to ensure safety on the road. Regardless of your mode of transportation, we have a duty to know and follow the law.
A bicyclist was killed at this weekend’s Tour de Palm Springs, but event organizers have called it a fluke and say there is no need to overhaul safety measures to protect bicyclists. According to The Desert Sun, Saturday’s death was caused by a 21-year-old driver suspected of going 100 mph on a stretch of roadway with a 50 mph speed limit. Outside of another fatality three years ago, the annual ride – which stretches 100 miles through the Coachella Valley – has had few problems in its 20-year history.
California’s newest bicycle safety act, called the Three Feet for Safety Act, took effect on Sept. 16, 2014. The law requires that drivers passing a bicycle that is traveling in the same direction maintain at least 3 feet of distance between any part of the vehicle and any part of the bicycle or rider. When 3 feet is not possible, the driver is required to slow to a “reasonable and prudent speed” and pass only if there’s no danger to the bicyclist. Violations can result in a fine, regardless of whether a collision or injury to the bicyclist results.
On December 9, 2013, the San Diego City Council unanimously approved the San Diego Bicycle Master Plan Update, which will add 595 miles of bikeways designed to connect the city, to create bike corridors to encourage biking to work or school, and to make biking a more mainstream mode of transportation.
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