When driving on the streets in Florida, every car, truck, personal, and commercial vehicle has to abide by the same laws. This includes bicycles. Sharing the road with a bicyclist may present a challenge on heavily congested days, but regardless, traffic laws must be followed.
Are There Specific Laws That Apply To Cyclists?
In the state of Florida, there are specific laws that all cyclists must adhere to. Here are those rules:
- Bicycles must travel as far to the right as possible. If there is a bike lane, they are expected to use it. If there is not a bike lane, they must use the far right of the automobile lane. However, if the lane is less than 14’ across and it does not allow for a 3’ area between the car and the bicycle, the cyclist must take the lane and ride the center of the right lane.
- If the bicycle is being ridden by anyone who is under the age of 16, they must wear a helmet. This helmet must be specifically for biking and has to pass all federal guidelines.
- If there is a child riding on the bike with the operator, they must be in a child safety seat, attached to the bicycle. The childhas to be secured with seat belts and must wear a helmet correctly sized for a child.
- Bikers must use their hands to signal to turn or stop. If they are on the sidewalk, they must yield to another pedestrian. If they are on the sidewalk, they must audibly signal that they are turning or stopping.
Traffic Laws That Apply To Automobiles Sharing The Road With Cyclists
Below is a list of rules that apply to drivers in Florida who are sharing the road with cyclists. Although these rules may seem daunting at first, keep in mind that the safety of everyone on the road is what is most important.
- An automobile driver must maintain a distance of at least three feet between their vehicle and a bicycle on the road.
- If there is a turning lane and a bike lane, the bike lane will be on the far right lane. This lane is NOT for cars who are going to turn right on red.
- No matter how frustrated you are, pulling up behind a biker in the bike lane and honking your horn for them to move out of your way is out of line. In that situation, you are breaking the law.
Please note that when a bicycle is on the road, they are considered a vehicle and should be treated as one.
An important thing that all drivers should be aware of when sharing the road with a cyclist is that some bicycles have new features that you may not have seen before. In fact, some bikes are equipped with turn signals on the handlebars, while others have smart helmets that signal for turns and stops.
In the end, if both automobile drivers and bike riders are considerate of each other, we can all use the roads efficiently, and most importantly, safely.