New Traffic School for Bicyclists Opens in California

bicyclistIf you are ticketed for a traffic offense while operating your motor vehicle, you likely understand that you have certain options. You can pay the fine, you can go to court and contest the matter, or you may be able to get your citation expunged and your fines dropped if you complete an approved driving school program within the allowed period of time. Recently, a new statute has allowed for the creation of traffic schools for bicyclists, meaning that, if you are cited while operating your bike, you may have all of the same options as vehicle drivers. If you have received a citation, before you make a decision regarding how to resolve it, talk to a knowledgeable California traffic ticket attorney, who understands the process and can advise you on your options and what might work best for your situation.

In 2016, Assembly Bill 902 became law, allowing cities to create traffic schools for bicyclists. The bill, created by a Santa Monica assemblyman, represents the first time that bicycle traffic schools have been allowed under California law. Recently, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported on the one of the newest additions to the group of available bicycle traffic schools. That school is based in El Monte in Los Angeles County.

The El Monte-based bicycle traffic school is one of the first in the state. Two of the state’s major universities, UC Berkeley and UC Davis, have established diversion programs for bicyclists, according to the Tribune. Despite bicycle advocates’ efforts, several Northern California cities, like Oakland, Berkeley, and Alameda, have not yet elected to create bicycle traffic schools, according to the report. Because of the wording of AB902, the decision regarding whether or not to create a bicycle traffic school is made independently by each city.

The availability of traffic schools for bicyclists can be vitally important for some cyclists. You may not know it, especially if you don’t ride a bicycle on public streets, but the fines for bikes are often the same as the fines for vehicles. If you fail to stop your bicycle at a stop sign, your fine can be $200, the same as a driver who runs a stop sign. A red light violation can be as much as $400, whether you are behind the wheel or on a bike.

There are other rules that can be especially problematic for bicyclists, as opposed to drivers. For example, drivers likely know that they cannot drive on the sidewalk. Some bicyclists may not, however, know that in some cities, including El Monte, riding on the sidewalk is not allowed and can result in a citation and a substantial fine.

Whether you are driving a car or operating a bicycle, traffic tickets can carry serious consequences, including large fines and more. Retaining legal counsel can be a good way to deal with your ticket. The experienced San Francisco traffic crime lawyers at Uthman Law Office have been helping clients for many years. Attorney David Uthman has over 20 years of experience as a litigation attorney and almost a decade of experience as a police officer, and he understands how to utilize the arguments and tactics that will work in traffic court. Put the power of our team’s experience to work for you. Call us today at (415) 556-9200 to schedule your FREE initial consultation to get the help you need.

More blog posts:

The Risks You Take When You Handle Your DMV Driver’s License Suspension Case On Your Own Without a San Francisco Attorney, San Francisco Criminal Lawyer Blog, Feb. 16, 2018

The Difference Between Domestic Battery and Simple Battery in California, San Francisco Criminal Lawyer Blog, Feb. 6, 2018

Photo Credit: Skitterphoto, [CC0 License], via Pixabay