I was told that it wasn't against the law to cut off a cyclist
it when police don't know the law they're supposed to be enforcing!! I was stopped by a pair of officers in a car once for using the left-turn lane on my bike. I had to tell them the law. I suppose the fact that I knew what I was talking about embarrassed them, and they didn't cite me. Later I saw their sergeant who was a personal friend and told him about the incident. I don't know if he mentioned it in briefing the next moring, but they never gave me static about it again.
California Vehicle Code sections below:
Overtake and Pass to Left
21750. The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle or a bicycle
proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the left at a safe distance without interfering with the safe operation of the overtaken vehicle or bicycle
, subject to the limitations and exceptions hereinafter stated.
I think the cutting-off would have its own section, possibly under "unsafe lane change," but I can't find it.
or to repeatedly honk the horn.
Use of Horns
27001. (a) The driver of a motor vehicle when reasonably necessary to insure safe operation shall give audible warning with his horn.
(b) The horn shall not otherwise be used,
except as a theft alarm system which operates as specified in Article 13 (commencing with Section 28085) of this chapter.
I would add however that with a glasses mirror you can see all of these coming and stop them before they happen, usually by motioning to the driver behind (I put my left hand down and kind of shake it, meaning "Don't pass now," and then move to the left of the lane and motion them on by on the right. Section 21202 and 21208 say you must ride as close to the right as practicable
(not as possible
, because that's often unsafe), and then they give five exceptions when you can move farther left:
- to avoid debris and obstacles
- to avoid the right-turn lane if you're not going to turn right
- to use the left-turn lane if you're going to turn left
- to pass other vehicles (yes! -- but use this one with extreme caution, because if they decide to speed up before you can get over, you'll be out in the middle with faster-moving cars on both sides, and unable to get over!) and
- to take the lane if it's not wide enough for vehicles to safely pass within the same lane.