Rules of the Road – Bicycle and Pedestrian Laws for Motorists

The William Douglass campaign was asked to help get the word out on the following safety rules for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrian.

In Florida bicycles are defined by law as vehicles. As such, bicyclists have the same roadway rights and responsibilities as the operators of any other vehicle. The basic concept to remember when cycling or as a motorist is that we must share the road. If bicyclists and motorists treat each other with respect then all road users will benefit.

Almost 75% of all cycling deaths are caused by head injuries. Each year thousands of serious head injuries could be prevented if all cyclists wore bike helmets. Although not required by law (unless you are under the age of 16) CCSO strongly recommends you wear an approved bicycle helmet.

Riding while intoxicated is dangerous. Intoxication causes delayed reaction time and blurred vision. Additionally, you can be arrested for operating a bicycle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The sections below summarize important rules of the road. For more information, please see the complete Florida Statute Section cited.

If you are a pedestrian, it is always important to be aware of your surroundings. Other pedestrians, bicycles, vehicles, animals, terrain changes, and more can provide obstacles or hazards you need to navigate. Make sure you are visually scanning your surroundings at all times. Wearing headphones can make your walk or run more enjoyable but can also prohibit you from being able to hear important things. If you are listening to something, make sure you are also able to hear what is happening around you.

Bicycle Safety Laws

General Bicycle Regulations – Section 316.2065

  • A bicyclist must obey all traffic controls and signals including stop signs and stop lights.
  • No bicycle may be used to carry more people at one time than the number for which it is made.
  • At least one hand must be kept on the handlebars while riding.

Lighting – Section 316.2065

  • A bicycle operated between sunset and sunrise must be equipped with a light on the front that is visible from 500 feet and both a rear reflector and a red light on the rear visible from 600 feet.
  • Additional lighting is permitted and recommended.

Roadway Position – Section 316.2065

  • A bicyclist must ride as close as practicable to the right hand curb or edge of the road. A bicyclist may leave the right-most portion of the road in the following situations: when passing, making a left turn, to avoid hazards, or when a lane is too narrow for bicycle and car to share it safely.
  • Riding in single file is required except on sidewalks or when two people riding side-by-side within one lane will not impede traffic.

Sidewalk Riding – Section 316.2065

  • When riding on sidewalks or in crosswalks, a bicyclist has the same rights and duties as a pedestrian.
  • A bicyclist riding on sidewalks or in crosswalks must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians, and must give an audible signal before passing.

Signaling Turns – Sub-Section 316.155(2) and 316.157(2)

  • A bicyclist may signal intent or turn right either by extending the left hand and arm upward or by extending the right hand and arm horizontally to the right side of the bicycle.
    Headsets – Sub-Section 316.304
  • A bicyclist must not wear a headset, headphone, or other listening device other than a hearing aid when riding. Wearing a headset blocks out important audio cues needed to detect the presence of other traffic.

Pedestrian Safety Laws

Pedestrian regulations – 316.130

316.130 (1 ) Obey trac control devices unless otherwise directed by a police ocer
316.130 (2) Shall be subject to trac control signals at intersections
316.130 (3) No walking on roadway where sidewalks are provided, unless required by other circumstances
316.130 (4) Walk on the left side of the roadway where sidewalks are not provided
316.130 (5) No standing in the roadway to solicit a ride, employment, or business
316.130 (7) Driver shall yield, and stop if need be to yield, to a pedestrian in a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon
the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the
roadway as to be in danger
316.130 (8) No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a
vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield
316.130 (9) No vehicle shall pass another vehicle stopped at any crosswalk to permit a pedestrian to cross a roadway
316.130 (10) Pedestrians crossing at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked
crosswalk at an intersection shall yield to vehicles
316.130 ( 11) Between adjacent intersections at which trac control signals are in operation, pedestrians shall not
cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk
316.130 (12) No pedestrian shall, except in a marked crosswalk, cross a roadway at any other place than by a route
at right angles to the curb or by the shortest route to the opposite curb
316.130 (13) Pedestrians shall move, whenever practicable, upon the right half of crosswalks