If you are not familiar with the bicycle safety laws in Florida, then you need to be very cautious when you decide to ride your bike in St Petersburg. You won’t get into a heap of trouble but you can be cited for violating bicycle laws and if you are injured in a bicycle accident, you may not be entitled as much compensation if you were breaking the law at the time of the accident.
So, with that in mind, we’ve decided to run through a few laws in St. Petersburg, FL here.
Bicycle laws in Florida
The bicycle is legally defined as a vehicle in the state of Florida. While that sounds odd, there are some very good reasons for that designation. Bicyclists have the same rights to the roadways. Therefore, they have to obey the same traffic laws as other vehicle operators.
These include the laws for obeying traffic signals, riding with the traffic flow, stopping for stop signs, using lights during the night, and yielding the right-of-way when getting inside a roadway.
Since the road is shared between bicyclists and motorists, both need to treat each one with respect.
This means that the law will apply whenever a bicycle is operated in any sidewalk, street, or upon entry to other public property.
- Cyclists must follow traffic signs and signals
- Cyclists must use a fixed, regular seat
- It is not allowed by law to use the bicycle carrying more than what is designed or equipped.
- Use at least one hand on the handlebars while riding
- It is not allowed by law to allow a child or minor ward in violation of any provisions of the act
- Bicycles must have a brake or brakes to allow the rider to stop 25 feet from a speed of 10mph on a clean, dry, and level pavement
Riding on the sidewalk
- A bicyclist has the same duties and rights as a pedestrian when riding in crosswalks or on sidewalks
- A bicyclist riding in crosswalks or on sidewalks must yield the right-of-way to the pedestrians, at the same time giving audible signal before passing by
- A lamp in front of the bicycle must be installed while operating between sunset and sunrise
- The front light must be visible from 500 feet and a red reflector and a lamp must be installed on the rear exhibiting a red light that must be visible from 600 feet to the rear
- It is allowed and recommended by law to install additional lighting
Position on the roadway
- Ride as close as practicable to the edge of the roadway or the right-hand curb if not traveling at the same speed as other traffic
- Leave the right-most portion of the road only in the situations like the following:
- Making a left turn
- Avoiding road hazards
- Approaching a very narrow lane for a car and a bicycle to share safely
- May ride as close to the left-hand edge of the roadway as possible when operating on a one-way street with two or more traffic lanes
- Shall not ride more than two abreast when driving on a roadway except on parts or paths of the roadways set aside for the use of bicycles only
- When traveling at speed less than the normal traffic
Overall, bicyclists need to comply with the bicycle safety law particularly when riding in public. Any violation will be dealt with in accordance with the State Law on bicycle regulations for bicycle riders.
Whether you’re just cruising around your local Tampa yacht brokerage, or your cycling downtown, the bicycle rules are all the same. So be sure to follow all the laws for bicycles in St. Petersburg all the time!