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New cycling bills head toward becoming law in California

Bicycling is great for your health, and it's a good way to get from place to place. New laws may change the way you ride, though. According to a Feb. 21 news report, new bicycle-related bills were introduced by Californian legislators shortly before the deadline.

Two of the bills could make big changes. One states that a person who is riding a bicycle but traveling slower than traffic needs to stay in the right-hand lane or in the bicycling lane if there is one to use. There are exceptions to the rule that this bill would create. First, those who need to pass another bicycle or vehicle would be able to enter another lane. Second, those who need to make a left turn can enter a different lane.

Essentially, this helps keep cyclists out of the way of faster-moving traffic, which keeps traffic flowing smoothly. Currently, the law is not clear, making it harder for cyclists and police to understand what it really means to stay to the right.

Another bill presented allows cyclists to yield at stop signs instead of stopping. It's argued that drivers are far different from cyclists in regards to approaching stop signs. A person on a bicycle has the ability to slow down and cautiously approach, yield, stop or proceed through an intersection where a stop sign is present, while a larger vehicle needs to come to a stop to give the driver time to look and yield to the other drivers who may have the right-of-way. This bill also requires cyclists to use hand signals or other forms of signalling to indicate when they intend to turn to New Bike Legislation that Works for Bicycle Riders," Melanie Curry, Feb. 21, 2017

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