Bicycle Safety

August 18th, 2014

Dear Parents and Students:

The Huntington Beach Police Department receives complaints every year regarding traffic violations near our schools. These complaints include vehicles speeding, double parking, blocking/impeding traffic, failing to yield to oncoming traffic, making illegal U-turns, not signaling, and driving past school buses with flashing red lights, just to name a few.

In the past 12 months, our officers have issued about 470 citations to juveniles for bicycle and pedestrian violations. The most common violations include riding on the wrong side of the road, not wearing a helmet, riding double, riding outside the bike lane, riding motorized scooters, walking against don't walk signs, jaywalking, etc. Although citations are unpleasant to receive, they are necessary to ensure bicycle and pedestrian safety in our city. .

Also in the past 12 months, the Huntington Beach Police Department has responded to 78 traffic collisions involving pedestrians resulting in 77 injuries and six fatalities. We also responded to 112 collisions involving bicycles resulting in 100 injuries and three fatalities. Our goal is to have no injuries or fatalities occur, but that is not possible without your help.

We have attached a short list of some of the most common violations related to bicycle, pedestrian, and vehicle operations. This is simply a reminder of some of the state and local laws we enforce daily for your safety and your children's safety. I encourage you to discuss these laws with your children and remind them of their responsibilities as pedestrians and bicycle riders. I also hope this will serve as a friendly reminder to you as a driver while you drop off and pick up your children at our schools.

It's important for our young cyclists to know their legal rights and responsibilities, effective cycling skills, and the rules of the road. The Huntington Beach Police Department encourages schools, PTA's, parents, and students to seek out training and resources aimed at increasing bicycle and pedestrian safety. This should be done on an annual basis to get the most current information and reinforce skills as students change between different modes of transportation.

There are many resources where parents and students can learn about bicycle safety. Local bicycle advocacy groups are available for bicycle safety presentations at PTA meetings. Organizations or individuals interested in these presentations or obtaining bicycle safety information can refer to the links listed below.

The Huntington Beach Police Department is both committed to and concerned with your child's safety. The best approach is having regular and ongoing conversations with your children about bicycle and pedestrian safety. Thank you for partnering with us in the education effort. Let's all do our part to make this school year the safest year yet for our children.


Robert Handy
Chief of Police

California Department of Motor Vehicles
California Highway Patrol
Huntington Beach Bicycle Advocates


21760 (a) CVC (Three Feet for Safety Act)
The driver of a motor vehicle overtaking and passing a bicycle that is proceeding in the same direction shall pass at a safe distance, not less than three feet between the vehicle and the bicycle. If this is not possible, the driver of the vehicle shall slow to a reasonable and prudent speed that would not endanger the bicyclists.

21200 CVC (Bicycle rider responsibilities)
Every person riding a bicycle upon a highway has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this division.

21201 CVC (Bicycle Safety; Brakes, Handlebars, Lights, Reflectors)
(a) Brake required.
(b) Handlebars raised above the shoulders prohibited.
(c) Must be able to safely stop & to put one foot on ground when stopped.
(d) During darkness, every bicycle operated shall be equipped with a; White light to the front.
Red reflector on the rear. White or yellow reflector on each pedal. White or yellow reflector on each side forward of the center of the bicycle. White or red reflector on each side to the rear of the center of the bicycle.

21202 CVC (Ride on right side of roadway)
Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.

21203 CVC (Hitching rides)
No person riding upon any motorcycle, motorized bicycle, bicycle, coaster, roller skates, sled, or toy vehicle shall attach the same or himself to any streetcar or vehicle on the roadway.

21204 CVC (Riding double, Seat required)
No person operating a bicycle upon a highway shall ride other than upon or astride a permanent and regular seat attached thereto.

21208 CVC (Bike lanes)
Bicycles shall ride within the bicycle lane when a bicycle lane is present.

21212 CVC (Bicycle Helmets)
A person under 18 years of age shall not operate (nor ride upon as a passenger) a bicycle, a nonmotorized scooter, skateboard, or wear in-line or roller skates, unless that person is wearing a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet.

22411 CVC (Scooter speed)
No person shall operate a motorized scooter at a speed in excess of 15 miles per hour.

21456 CVC (Walk against signal)
Cross against "DONT WALK", "WAIT", or "Upraised Hand" symbol prohibited.

21955 CVC (Jaywalking)
Between adjacent intersections controlled by traffic control signal devices, pedestrians shall not cross the roadway at any place except in a crosswalk.

21650.1 CVC (Ride against traffic)
A bicycle operated on a roadway, or the shoulder of a highway, shall be operated in the same direction, as vehicles are required to be driven upon the roadway.

27400 CVC (Wearing headphones)
A person operating a motor vehicle or bicycle may not wear a headset, or earplugs in, both ears.

22102 CVC (U-turns)
No person in a business district shall make a U-turn, except at an intersection, or on a divided highway where an opening has been provided. This turning movement shall be made as close as practicable to the extreme left-hand edge of the lanes moving in the driver's direction of travel immediately prior to the initiation of the turning movement.

22103 CVC (U-turns)
No person in a residence district shall make a U-turn when any other vehicle is approaching from either direction within 200 feet, except at an intersection when the approaching vehicle is controlled by an official traffic control device.

22106 CVC (Unsafe starting, unsafe backing)
No person shall start a vehicle stopped, standing, or parked on a highway, nor shall any person back a vehicle on a highway until such movement can be made with reasonable safety.

22107 CVC (Unsafe turn, signaling)
No person shall turn a vehicle from a direct course or move right or left upon a roadway until such movement can be made with reasonable safety and then only after the giving of an appropriate signal in the event any other vehicle may be affected by the movement.

22108 CVC (Signaling prior to turn)
Any signal of intention to turn right or left shall be given continuously during the last 100 feet traveled by the vehicle before turning.

22109 CVC (Unsafe stop)
No person shall stop or suddenly decrease the speed of a vehicle on a highway without first giving an appropriate signal.

22352 CVC (School zone)
Maximum speed in a school zone is 25 (twenty-five) miles per hour, when children are present.

22400 CVC (Impeding or blocking traffic)
No person shall drive upon a highway at such a slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic. No person shall bring a vehicle to a complete stop upon a highway so as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic unless the stop is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.

22454 CVC (School bus loading passengers)
Do not pass school bus until flashing red lights and/or stop signal arm cease.

10.48.105 HBMC
3-minute student loading zones. No stopping, standing or parking at any time for any purpose other than loading or unloading of passengers, which shall not exceed three (3) minutes. The restricted parking applies between the hours of 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. on days that school is in session. (Note - This is not a 3-minute parking zone, but a loading and unloading zone only).

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City of Huntington Beach
Police Department
2000 Main Street
Huntington Beach, CA
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(714) 960-8825
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(714) 960-8811
Fax: (714) 536-5605
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