Florida Law and Florida Statutes on Bicycles
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A Summary of Relevant Florida Bike Laws and Bicycle Statutes in Florida
Florida Law on Bicycling on the Street: Share the Road!
A bicyclist has every right to use the street in Florida, and to be free from injury from other cars using the street.
Do I have to use the bike lane in Florida? Yes, a bicyclist on the road must use the bike lane if one exists, unless they are traveling at the same speed as the cars on the road. 316.2065, Florida Statutes.
What if there is no bike lane? Do I have to use the sidewalk? No, not necessarily, but you can use the sidewalk if you want (F.S. 316.2065). If you decide to bike in the street, Florida bicycle law requires a bicyclist to ride 'as close as practicable to the right hand curb or the edge of the roadway.' This is unfortunately where many bike accidents occur in Florida, as cars do not respect the bicycle's right to use the road.
Is there ever a time where a bike rider can move off the right shoulder into the lanes of traffic? Yes, a bicyclist can move off the right side of street if she is passing another rider, preparing to make a left turn or if she encounters a condition/hazard like a hole in the road.
Can I sue the driver of a car if both of us are at fault for a bike accident? Yes, Florida has comparative liability, which means that you can apportion fault and still make a recovery for your damages, even if you are partially at fault. Click here to learn more about your potential bike crash injury case.
Florida Statute Sect. 316.2065
General Bike Rider Requirements in Florida.
Requires a Florida bicyclist to:
- Follow all traffic laws applicable to cars.
- Follow all traffic signals (stop signs, stop lights, etc.) that apply to cars.
- Restrict use of the bike to only 1 person per seat.
- Have a properly operating bike, meaning you have to have a working brake which will stop the bicyclist within 25 feet on dry level clean asphalt.
Sidewalk Riding with a Bike in Florida: The Florida Law Regarding Bikes on Sidewalks
Q: Can I ride a bike on the sidewalk in Florida?
A: Yes! It is typically legal for a bike rider to cycle on a sidewalk, so long as she complies with Florida Statute Section 316.2065.
If and when a bicyclist rides a bike on a sidewalk in Florida, she has the same rights and responsibilities of a pedestrian.
According to the FDOT, a bike rider in Florida may travel in either direction on the sidewalk.
A bicyclist riding on the sidewalk with a bike in Florida must give the right of way to pedestrians, and must give an audible signal (like ringing a bell) when passing.
Although there is no statewide Florida law preventing bicycle sidewalk riding, there may be a municipal code (or city rule) which prevents bike riding on the sidewalk locally.
Riding a bicycle on a sidewalk is banned in Florida's downtown areas of Miami, Orlando and Jacksonville.
Florida Law on Bike Lights
Florida Statutes Sect. 316.2065 regulates required lighting on Florida bicycles which are used at night.
A bike rider riding at night in Florida (defined as sunset to sunrise) is required to have lights on his bike, as per Florida bike laws.
Specifically, Florida law requires bikes rode at night have a light visible from 500 feet from the front of the bike and 600 feet from the back of the bicycle.
Can bicycle lights allowed to flash in Florida? There is a Florida statute which prohibits motor vehicles from using flashing lights, presumably to prevent folks in cars from pretending to be police. However, I do not think this prohibition on blinking, flashing lights applies to bike riders in Florida, as a bicycle is not a motor vehicle.
Are bike reflectors requires by Florida law? Bicycle reflectors are optional, although they are certainly a good idea for bike safety.
Florida Bike Law Question on Cars Passing Bikes on the Road:
I ride my bike in Florida in the street. I ride as close to the curb as possible, but there are still some motorists who honk at me and pass me on the left, even in a 'no pass zone'. Is this legal? Can a car pass a bike in a no pass zone? I am afraid one of them will clip me and knock me off my bike.
Answer: The law in Florida you are looking for is Florida Statute Sect. 316.0875, which states in relevant part:
s. 316.0875 – No Passing Zones
(2) …. no driver shall at any time drive on the left side of the roadway with such no-passing zone ….
(3) This section does not apply when an obstruction exists making it necessary to drive to the left of the center of the highway ….
So what can we gather from the above Florida bike law? It seems clear that a car is not allowed to pass a bike on the road in a no pass zone, unless there is an obstruction that makes it necessary to drive over the yellow line. If there is a deer in the road, then sure, that qualifies as an obstruction which allows a car to pass over the line. But is a bike really an obstruction under Florida Statute Sect. 316.0875? I doubt it.
We must look to the Florida law on a vehicle passing another vehicle for more guidance (remember, a bike is a vehicle if you are using it on the road).
s. 316.083 – Overtaking and Passing a Vehicle
(1)…. shall pass to the left thereof at a safe distance, and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle.
s. 316.085 – Limitations on Overtaking, Passing, Changing Lanes and Changing Course
(1) No vehicle shall be driven to the left of the center of the roadway …. clearly visible and is free of oncoming traffic …. without interfering with …. any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction …. return to an authorized lane of travel …. before coming within 200 feet of any approaching vehicle.
Florida Bike Law on Bike Accidents and Bike Crashes
Unfortunately, it appears that these Florida bike laws are 'clear as mud'. Florida bike law is clear that cars are not supposed to crash into bicyclists… ever. Florida Statute 316.027 prohibits motor vehicles from crashing into a person operating a bicycle. So if you've been involved in a Florida bike crash and have questions about Florida law on bicycle accidents, please fill out the case evaluator below or give us a call at 561-316-7207.
Florida Bike Law on Hit and Run Bicycle Accidents:
Q: I was riding a bike in Florida and a driver hit me, causing me serious personal injury, and then drove off. I know I can sue the driver for my injuries in a bike accident lawsuit, but how do I know who at at fault motorist was? Also, is it criminal for a driver in Florida to hit a bicyclist on a bike and then drive away?
A: If you've been involved in a hit and run bicycle accident in Florida, the first thing you should do is call 911. Get help for your injuries and do your best to identify the make and model of the hit and run driver. Yes, it is obviously criminal for a driver in Florida to hit someone on a bike and then drive away. However, even if you do not know who the at fault driver was, you still may have a valid Florida hit and run bicycle claim. Most driver in the U.S. have uninsured motorist insurance coverage through your auto insurance. This type of coverage will likely cover you in a hit and run bicycle accident. Speak with a Florida bicycle accident attorney to be sure.
If you have been injured on a bike in a bike crash in Florida, fill out the Florida Bike Law case evaluator below to determine if you have a bike law claim.