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Orange County Focus

WESTMINSTER : Law Would Affect Bikes on Sidewalks

January 08, 1990|GREG HERNANDEZ

Bicyclists on sidewalks who collide with cars leaving or entering driveways would be considered at fault under a proposed ordinance that will be considered Tuesday.

The proposal follows a rash of collisions and near-collisions between cars and bicycles on Golden West Street north of Bolsa Avenue during the past year.

Police Sgt. C.M. Miller said officers called to the scenes of the accidents did not know whom to cite because the city has no law defining the right of way. Current city law states only that bicyclists on the sidewalk must yield to pedestrians.

"We really needed to do something like this," Miller said. "People would be pulling out of small shopping centers and driveways and bicyclists would crash right into them. The biggest problem was with riders going in the opposite direction of traffic so the driver wouldn't even see them until they hit."

Miller said determining fault in these collisions is important to each person's driving record.

"If you're riding your bicycle on the sidewalk and you get hit, it will be your fault. If we don't determine fault, it goes equally on both driving records with the Department of Motor Vehicles," Miller said.

The ordinance would go into effect in 30 days.

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