The state of Florida has a number of laws surrounding the bicycle, which in the state is legally defined as a vehicle. Florida attorneys, police officers, and doctors all agree that if more bicyclists adhered to the rules of the road, there would be fewer bicycle accidents on the roads each year. Florida’s cities and municipalities have their own ordinances about bicycles. Copies of these ordinances can be obtained from the local law enforcement agencies. It is also important for bicyclists to become familiar with the state regulations regarding bicycles. Some highlights of these laws include:
Section 316.2065, F.S. (Regulations Regarding Bicycles):
*Like drivers of other vehicles, bicyclists have to obey all traffic laws, controls and signals.
*Each bicycle can only carry the number of people for which the bicycle was designed.
*Each bicycle must have a fixed, regular seat when in use.
*Each bicycle must have functioning brakes. These brakes must allow the bicycle to stop within 25 feet when riding at 10 miles per hour.
*At least one hand of the bicyclist must be kept on the handlebars at all times while the bicycle is being used.
Section 316.2065, F.S. (Regulations About Riding on Sidewalks):
*If a bicyclist chooses to ride on sidewalks, the bicyclist has the same responsibilities and rights as a pedestrian.
*Bicyclists on sidewalks must give an audible signal before passing pedestrians and must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians.
Section 316.2065, F.S. (Regulations About Lighting):
*Any bicycle ridden between sunset and sunrise must have, at absolute minimum, be a front white light that is visible from 500 feet and a red reflector and a red light on the rear that is visible from 600 feet. Additional lighting can greatly enhance safety.
Section 316.2065, F.S. (Regulations Regarding Roadway Position)
*If a bicyclist is not traveling at the speed of traffic he or she must ride near the right-hand curb of the road. The bicyclist may only leave this portion when passing, when making a left turn, or when striving to avoid road hazards.
*A bicyclist riding on a one-way street with may ride near the left-hand edge of the road.
*Bicyclists who are riding together can ride no more than two abreast unless on bicycle-only paths. If on a roadway where two abreast interferes with the normal flow of traffic, bicyclists shall ride single file
Sub-section 316.155(2) and 316.157(2), F.S. (Regulations About Signaling Turns)
*About 100 feet before an intended turn, the bicyclist must signal for the turn.
*A bicyclist must signal a turn right by extending the left hand and arm up or by extending the right hand and arm to the right side of the bicycle horizontally.
Other regulations may apply. Bicyclists should make themselves aware of the laws of their state and parents teaching their children to ride a bicycle are responsible for teaching their children safety rules and laws. Local law enforcement and local bicycle clubs have full details surrounding laws.