Cyclists in Orange County have the same rights and responsibilities as other drivers on the road. They must abide by traffic signs and signals, ride with the flow of traffic, and give way to oncoming vehicles when turning. While there is no state law that prohibits cyclists from riding on the sidewalk, local governments may have their own ordinances and rules. According to California Vehicle Code Section 21206, cities, counties, and states have the authority to establish their own regulations. When turning, cyclists must use turning lanes just like other vehicles.
On one-way streets with left-facing bicycle lanes, cyclists may ride on the left side of the road. The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) provides resources and information for cyclists, including an OC Bikeways map. The city of Davis is a great example of a bicycle-friendly environment, having been inspired by the bike paths and culture of the Netherlands. Cities in southern Orange County are increasingly adopting regulations that limit how and when residents can use e-bikes due to safety concerns. Ken McLeod, policy director of the United States Cyclists League, suggests comprehensive bicycle training as the best method to help reduce potential accidents.
The Orange County Bike Coalition promotes cycling as a means of transportation and recreation. Anyone who drives a bicycle on a highway road with two or more marked lanes of traffic must travel as close as possible to the left sidewalk or edge of the road. Currently, there is no way to track how many accidents occur in Orange County because both normal bicycle accidents and e-bike accidents are grouped together. If you have been involved in a bicycle accident caused by another driver or by a defect on the road, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries. If you want to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk (and understand the risks), you must first determine if it's legal or not in your area. It is important to be aware of all local laws and regulations before riding your bike in Orange County.