People biking are legally defined as vehicles on the road. This means that people biking have all the same rights as a person driving a vehicle and are also required to follow the same rules of the road.
We hope you don’t receive a citation because you’re unimpeachably safe and not targeted for other reasons. If you do get a ticket while biking, though, you’ll find answers to some frequently asked questions below:
How much will I need to pay for the ticket I received while biking?
Traffic citations do not include a price tag when they’re issued; this comes later when the ticket is filed at the traffic court. The fine schedule for citations is set locally by the S.F. Superior Court Traffic Division, and the table of penalties changes so frequently that the court does not publish it. You can request a fine schedule in person at 850 Bryant St., Room 145, but the court will only stand by those fees for the day you pick it up. You can also call the court to determine what the fine is for your specific citation: (415) 553-9400.
Will I get points on my motor vehicle record for citations issued while I am biking?
Moving violations incurred while operating a bicycle should not count against your automobile insurance rating. Make sure that any citation you receive while driving your bicycle notes that it is for a bicycle violation. There is usually a box on the citation form to indicate the type of vehicle being operated. Check to see that “bicycle” is noted before accepting the citation from the police officer. If you don’t see “bicycle” listed, ask to have this corrected.
In regards to points on your license, according to the SF Superior Court, people biking are not assigned point counts for violations.
Why was I charged an extra $300?
Do pay attention to dates, as there is a $300 penalty for not paying your ticket on time.
Can I take a class to reduce or eliminate the fee from my citation?
A recent California Assembly bill will allow traffic school for bicycle violations as a way to reduce fines. Although this program is not yet established in San Francisco, we support the creation of a traffic school program for people biking.