Growing in popularity by the day, bicycling has quickly become a favorite pastime and mode of transportation in Florida. But that growing popularity has also given way to one burning question regarding sidewalks: Who, exactly, has the right of way?
So we’ve compiled a quick list of FAQs to help you – as either a pedestrian or bicyclist – know how to share the sidewalk safely and responsibility:
How are bicycles classified?
In Florida, bicycles are legally defined as a vehicle and as such, they must obey the same traffic laws as vehicles, too.
What are Florida’s bicycle laws?
- Bicyclists must obey all traffic controls and signals.
- Bicyclists must use a fixed, regular seat for riding.
- Bicyclists can’t transport more people than that for which it is designed or equipped.
- One hand must be kept on the handlebars while riding at all times.
- Bicyclists have the same rights to a sidewalk as a pedestrian.
- Bicyclists riding on sidewalks must yield right-of-way to pedestrians and give an audible signal before passing.
What are potential penalties for bicycle violations?
- There are non-moving violations, such as failing to use required lighting equipment when riding at night or failing to have working brakes.
- There are moving violations, such as running a stop sign or riding against traffic.
How are pedestrians classified?
Any person on foot is a pedestrian, including a person in a wheelchair or roller skates.
What are Florida’s pedestrian laws where sidewalks are provided?
- Pedestrians can’t walk on a roadway paved for vehicular traffic.
- Pedestrians walking along and upon a highway can only walk on the left shoulder facing traffic.
- Pedestrians on roller skates or riding on any toy vehicle or similar device can’t use the roadway.
- Pedestrians can’t walk on a limited-access freeway, highway or ramp.
What are potential penalties for pedestrian violations?
A pedestrian violation is a noncriminal traffic infraction and as such, the pedestrian may elect to appear before a designated official or pay the civil penalty and delinquent fee within 30 days after the date of issuance of the citation.
Just as with bicyclists, drivers and roadways, it ultimately comes down to knowing the rules and your responsibilities in order for bicyclists and pedestrians to peacefully share the sidewalks. Should you have questions or need help with a bicycle- or pedestrian-related issue, please don’t hesitate to contact the experienced traffic accident and personal injury attorneys at Anton Castro Law.