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Old 05-23-14, 09:22 AM   #1
Beachgrad05
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Red Light question - California

Not sure if this is the appropriate forum but since it is a California question, I'm posting it here.

It has been my understanding (as well as others I know) that at a T intersection where the bike lane does not have a white line crossing it, you do not have to stop. If there IS a white line crossing the bike lane, you DO have to stop. A friend of one of my teammates told her that cyclists are required to stop either way.

What is the law? She looked on DMV and could not find reference to this particular situation. Anyone know what is the correct way to handle?

I have chosen to stop our group at these Red Lights in interest of demonstrating good etiquette but my teammates have reacted as if doing so is not required. If I'm alone, I would be more likely to go thru but when I'm leading our team ride and I tend to be more cautious and if I'm going to err, I'd rather err on the side of safety.
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Old 05-23-14, 09:27 AM   #2
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That is a good question. I have stopped before but for the most part I slow down.
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Old 05-23-14, 09:40 AM   #3
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I did see some mention of not all shoulders are "bike lanes" and the white line is referred to as a fog line. The line does not extend onto "shoulder" past the fog line because it is not part of roadway. That being said, cyclists in that area are technically not in roadway and the interpretation was that stopping was not necessary.
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Old 05-23-14, 09:42 AM   #4
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I would take a picture of the intersection and stop by your local LEO station. They're usually very helpful with that type stuff. Then note the officer's name and make notes of what they say, and the date of the conversation. Save the picture. Should the answer be "No, don't stop" and you ever get a ticket, you have a lot more ammunition in court. You'll get a lot further with "Based on our conversation on x date discussing this picture, Officer So-and-So said we should not stop". That will go a lot further than "I asked on a cycling forum and they said I was probably good to not stop", though I'd love to see the judge's reaction to that defense!

I'm with you. Without official clarification, I think I'd stop.
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Old 05-23-14, 09:51 AM   #5
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I would take a picture of the intersection and stop by your local LEO station. They're usually very helpful with that type stuff. Then note the officer's name and make notes of what they say, and the date of the conversation. Save the picture. Should the answer be "No, don't stop" and you ever get a ticket, you have a lot more ammunition in court. You'll get a lot further with "Based on our conversation on x date discussing this picture, Officer So-and-So said we should not stop". That will go a lot further than "I asked on a cycling forum and they said I was probably good to not stop", though I'd love to see the judge's reaction to that defense!

I'm with you. Without official clarification, I think I'd stop.
Agreed...tho sadly, many LEO's don't know laws regarding cyclists either. But think I might do this...I don't have a specific intersection in mind tho.
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Old 05-23-14, 10:09 AM   #6
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I'd ask John Forester on the A&S forum or by email. You can find his email here: Forester
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Old 05-23-14, 10:25 AM   #7
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I had a hunch the answer was obvious, intuitively my thought was.. if there's a STOP sign.. you stop, yield sign yield, no signage, go ahead but tread carefully since it's a T. Also I can not find any reference to the "stop" lines for Ca bike lanes, as far as I know the regular vehicle signage applies to us as well so line or not... red light or stop sign you should stop.

This is from the CA DMV site, specifically the driver handbook.
"[h=4]Intersections[/h]An intersection is any place where one line of roadway meets another roadway. Intersections include cross streets, side streets, alleys, freeway entrances, and any other location where vehicles traveling on different highways or roads join each other.
Driving through an intersection is one of the most complex traffic situations motorists encounter. Intersection collisions account for more than 45 percent of all reported crashes and 21 percent of fatalities according to the Federal Highway Administration.
  • At intersections without “STOP” or “YIELD” signs, slow down and be ready to stop. Yield to traffic and pedestrians already in the intersection or just entering the intersection. Also, yield to the vehicle or bicycle that arrives first, or to the vehicle or bicycle on your right if it reaches the intersection at the same time as you.
  • At “T” intersections without “STOP” or “YIELD” signs, yield to traffic and pedestrians on the through road. They have the right-of-way.
  • When you turn left, give the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching that are close enough to be dangerous. Also, look for motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. .

    Safety suggestion: While waiting to turn left, keep your wheels pointed straight ahead until it is safe to start your turn. If your wheels are pointed to the left, and a vehicle hits you from behind, you could be pushed into oncoming traffic.
  • When you turn right, be sure to check for pedestrians crossing the street and bicyclists coming up behind you on the right.
  • On divided highways or highways with several lanes, watch for vehicles coming in any lane you cross. Turn either left or right only when it is safe.
  • When there are "STOP" signs at all corners, stop first then follow the rules listed above.
  • If you have parked off the road or are leaving a parking lot, etc., yield to traffic before reentering the road."
  • California Driver Handbook
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachgrad05 View Post
I have chosen to stop our group at these Red Lights in interest of demonstrating good etiquette but my teammates have reacted as if doing so is not required. If I'm alone, I would be more likely to go thru but when I'm leading our team ride and I tend to be more cautious and if I'm going to err, I'd rather err on the side of safety.
Your fellow riders are simply doing what they feel like doing, I see this behavior extremely often at official stop signs where the riders know they should and legally do have to stop, I get that they would rather stay in close together and keep their pack but at the same time.. this often holds up quite a bit of traffic (group rides can get HUGE up here).
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Old 05-23-14, 11:06 AM   #8
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I'm in a bike lane so I am a special person! Huh?
Red Light = STOP.
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Old 05-23-14, 11:18 AM   #9
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I'm in a bike lane so I am a special person! Huh?
Red Light = STOP.
Nowhere did I say anyone was special. But there is some question among cyclists in this regard. No need for snark.

There are areas where this occurs and there is NO official bike lane, it is technically the shoulder of the road and the stop line does not extend onto the shoulder.

I was hoping someone on the forum might have actual knowledge of the law such as a LEO cyclist. Since that is appears to be not the case. I dont' want this thread devolving...will request it be closed.
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Old 05-23-14, 11:28 AM   #10
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You're kidding right?
If there is a motor vehicle next to you that has to stop, bicyclist needs to stop as well.
Stop signs and traffic lights don't need limit lines at every intersection.
That's what you are asking, right?
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Old 05-23-14, 11:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachgrad05 View Post
Nowhere did I say anyone was special. But there is some question among cyclists in this regard. No need for snark.

There are areas where this occurs and there is NO official bike lane, it is technically the shoulder of the road and the stop line does not extend onto the shoulder.

I was hoping someone on the forum might have actual knowledge of the law such as a LEO cyclist. Since that is appears to be not the case. I dont' want this thread devolving...will request it be closed.
Insert eyeroll here.. CA traffic law applies to bicycles except in specified circumstances, the traffic code literally taken from the Ca DMV applies to you, I am by no means an expert but I have provided you with the information you have requested and from a verified source, as well as stating my opinion at the beginning as opinion and following with the matching law.
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Old 05-23-14, 11:35 AM   #12
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Closing per OP's request.
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