In most situations, bicycles are considered vehicles in the state of Florida. Bicyclists usually have the same rights and responsibilities as other motorists under state law, with the exception of on certain highways and interstates. However, we do want to review laws pertaining specifically to bike lanes and the right of way for bicyclists.
Florida Bike Lane Laws
Bike lanes are lanes marked with a stripe and signals that signify preferential use of bicycles on that section of the roadway. Motorists are allowed to cross this bicycle lane in order to turn into or off of a roadway at intersections and driveways. When we examine Florida laws related to bicycle lanes, we can see the following:
Bicyclists are required to use bike lanes where available.
When no bike lane is marked, bicyclists should ride as close as possible (within safe limitations) to the right-hand curb or to the edge of the roadway.
Bicyclists may leave the bike lane or the right-hand side to avoid hazards or to prepare for a left turn.
On one-way streets with more than one lane, cyclists can ride near the left curb.
Bicyclists can legally ride on sidewalks in most places in Florida, but a bicyclist on a sidewalk must yield the right of way to any pedestrians. A bicyclist is also responsible for giving an audible signal before passing or overtaking a pedestrian.
In cases where there is a bicycle “path” as opposed to a bicycle lane, the bicyclist is not required to ride on the path. Bike paths are typically provided to bicyclists adjacent to the roadway. Bicycle lanes are in the roadway.
Florida Bicyclist Right of Way Laws
It is imperative for both bicyclists and vehicle drivers to understand bicycle right-of-way laws in Florida, which include:
Bicyclists on sidewalks or crosswalks have the same rights and duties as pedestrians.
When riding on a sidewalk or crosswalk, cyclists must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians. They are also required to give an audible signal before overtaking and passing a bicyclist.
Bicyclists must follow the same rules and regulations as motor vehicle drivers and are granted the same rights on the road, except where specific bicycle laws apply.
It’s illegal for cyclists to attach themselves or their bikes to a moving vehicle on the road.
Drivers must yield the right of way to bicyclists, as they would any other vehicle on the roadway. Even though many drivers may not see a bicycle as a vehicle, the law certainly does. Any driver who fails to yield the right of way to a bicyclist properly could face a citation in the event they are stopped by law enforcement officers.
Working With an Attorney After a Bike Injury
If you or somebody you love has been injured in a bike crash caused by the negligent or intentional actions of another party, please reach out to an attorney immediately. A skilled bicycle accident lawyer in St. Petersburg can examine the facts of your case by offering a free consultation and helping determine the best steps moving forward for your situation.