Following the Law Keeps Florida Bicyclists SafeTampa Bay Legal News
The spring season is officially here and in the state of Florida, which means you can expect to see an increased number of bicyclists of all ages on and near our roadways. Being aware of all the various regulations and laws that apply to bike riders can go a long way towards helping you avoid being severely injured in a car accident.
Listed below are a few of the most essential Florida bicycle laws that both visitors and residents should be familiar with.
Follow All Traffic Laws
Bicycles are beholden to the same laws when they ride on roadways as those that pertain to drivers. The safest riders are always defensive riders who are always prepared to yield the right-of-way to a vehicle if necessary.
In Florida, cyclists are required to ride with the flow of traffic and obey all traffic signals and signs. Always keep to the bike lane, or, if no bike lane is available, keep as far to the right as you are able. Riding on the lefthand side of the road is permitted in order to bypass unexpected debris in the roadway or if you are going to be making a lefthand turn.
When riding with another bicyclist on a roadway, you must stay single file in the same lane. State law prevents two bicycle riders from riding side-by-side in the same lane of traffic.
If you chose to ride on a sidewalk, you are required to yield the right-of-way to all pedestrians. When passing somebody on foot, you must honk a horn or call out to notify them of your presence.
Always Wear Your Helmet
Even though Florida bicycle helmet laws only require helmets only for cyclists who are 16-years-old and younger, all riders are strongly encouraged to wear protective headgear. Make sure your helmet fits properly and, if you are involved in an accident, your helmet should be replaced before you go riding again.
Make Sure Your Bike is Properly Equipped
All bicycles are required to be equipped with a white light on the front and a red light on the back for those who ride after sundown. If you will be carrying passengers, it is your responsibility to ensure that your bicycle is equipped with two seats. State law specifically forbids letting a passenger ride on your back pegs or handlebars. You may, however, carry a child in a secured backpack or sling.
Bicycle riders are at a greatly increased risk for sustaining a serious injury during a crash with a motor vehicle. Knowing and following these laws will help keep riders safe.
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