Florida Bicycle Laws: Safety in Fort Lauderdale

Obey Traffic Laws: A bicycle is legally classified as a vehicle under Florida law (Sections 316.003(2), (10) and 316.2065(1), F.S.). A cyclist must follow all traffic laws common to drivers and must obey those regulations adopted specifically for cyclists. A rider also has all of the rights of any other motorist on the road.

Ride on the Right (Section 316.081, F.S.): Whenever road width and other conditions permit, riders must always ride on the right side of the road. That means a rider must always ride with traffic, not against it. Riding facing traffic doubles your risk of an accident.

Sidewalk Riding (Section 316.2065(10) and (11), F.S.): A rider has the same rights and duties as a pedestrian. Except where prohibited by local ordinance, a rider may utilize a sidewalk while keeping in mind sidewalks were not made for speeding cyclists. A rider must yield to pedestrians and must give an audible signal when passing or overtaking a pedestrian.

Road Riding (Section 316.2065(5) and (6), F.S.): Riders must stay to a road’s right-hand curb area unless passing a vehicle, making a left turn or avoiding hazards. This rule does not apply if a road is too narrow to allow vehicle traffic to pass safely.

Turning at Intersections (Section 316.151(1)(b)(c), F.S.): An approach and turn to the right should be made as close as possible to the right-hand curb. Riders making a left turn are allowed full use of the lane.

Signaling (Sections 316.155(2), (3) and 316.157(1), F.S.):

  • Left: Extend the left arm horizontally.
  • Right: Extend right arm horizontally or the left arm upward.
  • Stop or reduced speed: Left arm and hand downward.

Passenger and Equipment Requirements (Section 316.2065(2), (3), (7), (8), and (14), F.S.):

  • Bicycles operated at night must include a lamp on the front and both a lamp and a red reflector on the rear.
  • Riders or passengers under the age of 16 must wear an appropriate helmet.
  • Bicyclists must use an appropriate seat.
  • A bicycle must be properly equipped to carry passengers.
  • A cyclist may not permit a passenger to remain in a child seat or carrier without proper supervision.
  • At least one hand must be kept on handlebars.
  • Bicycles must be equipped with functioning brakes.

Wearing Headsets (Section 316.304(1), F.S.): Riders are not permitted to wear headsets or headphones while riding unless they are a hearing aide.

Bicycle Accidents & Florida Law: Driver’s Responsibilities

Parking in a Bicycle Lane (Section 316.1945(1)(b)6, F.S.): Drivers are not permitted to stop or park in bike lanes, unless avoiding traffic or complying with the directions of law enforcement. Stopping briefly to drop off or pick up passengers is permitted.

Dooring (Section 316.2005, F.S.): No person shall open a vehicle’s door into traffic without making sure it’s reasonably safe to do so. Nor should a door be open longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.

Due Care (Sections 316.130 and 316.1925, F.S.): Drivers must operate a vehicle with reasonable care to avoid a collision.

Following too closely (Section 316.0895): Drivers must take care to follow at a reasonable and prudent distance, taking into account a vehicle’s speed, traffic and the condition of the roadway.

Driver Speed (Sections 316.183 and 316.185, F.S.): A driver must operate at a safe and reasonable speed, with regard for potential hazards. This includes reducing speed when traveling around curves, over hillcrests and on narrow and winding roads.

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