New Laws 2023: biking on Walk signal OK, motorists to change lanes to pass, eBikes may be regulated from some bikeways.
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT …
Electric Bikes on Bikeways
(a) Notwithstanding Sections 21207 and 23127 of this code, or any other law, a motorized bicycle shall not be operated on a bicycle path or trail, bikeway, bicycle lane established pursuant to Section 21207, equestrian trail, or hiking or recreational trail, unless it is within or adjacent to a roadway or unless the local authority or the governing body of a public agency having jurisdiction over the path or trail permits, by ordinance, that operation.21207.5.
(b) The local authority or governing body of a public agency having jurisdiction over an equestrian trail, or hiking or recreational trail, may prohibit, by ordinance, the operation of an electric bicycle or any class of electric bicycle on that trail.
(c) The Department of Parks and Recreation may prohibit the operation of an electric bicycle or any class of electric bicycle on any bicycle path or trail within the department’s jurisdiction.
Bicyclists may proceed on Walk signal phase.
Except as otherwise directed by a bicycle control signal described in Section 21456.3, the operator of a bicycle facing a pedestrian control signal displaying a “WALK” or approved “Walking Person” symbol may proceed across the roadway in the direction of the signal, but shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicles or pedestrians lawfully within the intersection….(b) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2024.
Motorists to change lanes to pass bicyclists
Section 21760 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:SEC. 6.
(a) This section shall be known and may be cited as the Three Feet for Safety Act.21760.(b) The driver of a motor vehicle overtaking and passing a bicycle that is proceeding in the same direction on a highway shall pass in compliance with the requirements of this article applicable to overtaking and passing a vehicle, and shall do so at a safe distance that does not interfere with the safe operation of the overtaken bicycle, having due regard for the size and speed of the motor vehicle and the bicycle, traffic conditions, weather, visibility, and the surface and width of the highway.
(c) A driver of a motor vehicle shall not overtake or pass a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on a highway at a distance of less than three feet between any part of the motor vehicle and any part of the bicycle or its operator. The driver of a motor vehicle overtaking or passing a bicycle that is proceeding in the same direction and in the same lane of travel shall, if another lane of traffic proceeding in the same direction is available, make a lane change into another available lane with due regard for safety and traffic conditions, if practicable and not prohibited by law, before overtaking or passing the bicycle.
(d) If the driver of a motor vehicle is unable to comply with subdivision (c), due to traffic or roadway conditions, the driver shall slow to a speed that is reasonable and prudent, and may pass only when doing so would not endanger the safety of the operator of the bicycle, taking into account the size and speed of the motor vehicle and bicycle, traffic conditions, weather, visibility, and surface and width of the highway.(e) (1) A violation of subdivision (b), (c), or (d) is an infraction punishable by a fine of thirty-five dollars ($35).(2) If a collision occurs between a motor vehicle and a bicycle causing bodily injury to the operator of the bicycle, and the driver of the motor vehicle is found to be in violation of subdivision (b), (c), or (d), a two-hundred-twenty-dollar ($220) fine shall be imposed on that driver.