- A cyclist is safer riding with traffic than facing it.
- A cyclist who rides facing oncoming traffic increases his risk of being hit by a motorist by two to four times.
- Drivers entering and exiting the roadway at side streets and driveways do not expect bicycle traffic to approach from this direction.
- Lamps must be used on a bicycle after sunset to alert other drivers.
- A rear reflector may not be recognized as attached to a moving vehicle, and frontward illumination is needed to alert drivers not approaching from the rear.
- Nighttime collisions are much more likely to result in incapacitating injury or death. About 60 percent of fatal bicycle crashes in Florida occur during non-daylight hours.
- A cyclist traveling more slowly than other traffic should ride to the right, except to pass, to make a left turn, when necessary to avoid hazards, or when a lane is too narrow to share.
- A cyclist should ride to the right to make it easier for faster vehicles to pass, but should follow a predictable line. Swerving left to avoid a parked car, broken pavement edge, a drain cover, pooled water, gutter debris, etc., may surprise an overtaking motorist.
- A cyclist who stays far right is less visible to drivers emerging from driveways and side streets and to oncoming drivers making left turns.
- A cyclist may leave the right-most side of the roadway when (1) moving as fast as other traffic; (2) passing another vehicle; (3) making a left turn; (4) avoiding roadside hazards; (5) where a lane is too narrow for a bicycle and another vehicle to travel safely side by side. (Moving left in such a lane helps cue an overtaking driver who might otherwise misjudge passing space.)
- A bicyclist riding on a sidewalk or crosswalk has the rights and duties of a pedestrian , as well as certain other duties.
- Infractions of bicycle regulations in §316.2065 and moving and non-moving violations of other sections of Chapter 316 are subject to civil penalties as provided in §318.18. (For an infraction by a child cyclist, an officer could consider issuing a verbal or written warning.)
- Points are not assigned to the driver license of a person who committed a violation while driving a bicycle. Points apply only to motor vehicle operation.
- Local authorities may require bicycle registration, prohibit riding on sidewalks on roads under their jurisdiction, etc.
Equipment and Passengers
- Every bicycle must be equipped with a brake or brakes that allow the rider to stop within 25 feet from a speed of 10 mph on dry, level, clean pavement .
- A bicycle may not be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed or equipped; an adult bicyclist may carry a child in a backpack or sling, child seat or trailer designed to carry children .
A bicycle operated between sunset and sunrise must be equipped with a lamp on the front exhibiting a white light visible from 500 feet to the front and both a red reflector and a lamp on the rear exhibiting a red light visible from 600 feet to the rear. Additional lighting is permitted and recommended. The risk of fatal or incapacitating injury increases sharply at night.
A bicycle rider or passenger under 16 years of age must wear a bicycle helmet that:
- Is properly fitted
- Is fastened securely
- Meets a nationally recognized standard
Under federal law, bicycle helmets are required to meet the standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Bicycle helmets, properly fitted and secured, have been found effective at reducing the incidence and severity of head, brain and upper facial injury.
Headset Not to be Worn
A cyclist may not wear a headset, headphone or listening device, other than a hearing aid, while riding. Loud headphones can damage hearing and shut out the outside world. However, no cyclist should depend on hearing before turning or changing lane position.
Overtaking and Passing a Vehicle
The driver of a vehicle overtaking a bicycle or other non-motorized vehicle must pass the bicycle or other non-motorized vehicle at a safe distance of not less than three feet between the vehicle and the bicycle or other non-motorized vehicle.