The state of Florida recognizes your right to travel on the roads by bicycle. They have included your mode of transportation in consideration of designing the roads. In many places, they provide a special bike lane,so you can safely travel. They will punish drivers of vehicles who do not show you the same rights that they have.
With more rights comes more responsibility. As a vehicle operator (a bicycle is considered a vehicle powered by human force) you must obey the same laws that other vehicles do. These include:
- You must use hand signals unless you have turn signals installed on your bicycle, in which case, you must use them to turn, change lanes, or stop.
- You must yield to pedestrians
- You must ride as far to the right as possible
- You must obey all stop signs, red lights, and other road signs
- You must ride at a safe speed
You are entitled to all the rights of vehicle drivers and are required to obey the traffic laws that other drivers do. If you do not, you can get a ticket.
What kind of ticket can I get?
The most common citation issued to bicyclists is speeding tickets. The most common place they get speeding tickets is in school zones. You may not ignore the speed limit that is posted during the hours that children are arriving or departing from school. Other common citations issued to bicycles are:
- Not having the proper lights or reflectors on a bicycle
- Not using lights when it is dusk (lights must be on from dusk to dawn)
- Not using proper signals when turning or stopping
- Improper turning
You can contact your county clerk’s office for the fees that each charge carries. In these instances, we are referring to state laws. There could be additional laws for certain cities or areas in a town. It is a good idea to understand your state laws before you venture out on your bicycle.
You have the right to use your bicycle on the sidewalk and ride as a pedestrian instead of using the road system as a vehicle operator.
When you use your bike on the sidewalk, you must yield to other pedestrians. You must obey pedestrian laws. This includes waiting at a red light for your turn to cross the street. You may ride or walk your bike across the crosswalk. You may not ride your bike at a fast speed on the sidewalk, forcing other pedestrians to move off the sidewalk to avoid you.
Understand this. You have the choice of riding as a vehicle or pedestrian. You do not have the right to do both at the same time. If you get off the sidewalk and ride on the street because the sidewalk is too crowded or in poor condition, and an officer stops you, they will consider you a vehicle, even if you were only on the road for a few minutes. If you are traveling on the road, you are a vehicle, and if you are traveling on the sidewalk, you are a pedestrian. The police expect you to obey the laws determined by where you are at any given time.