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Florida Traffic Law Highlights

Bicycle regulations (see Section 316.2065, F. S.)

  • Bicyclists must obey all traffic controls and signals.
  • Bicyclists must use a fixed, regular seat for riding.
  • 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 bicyclist may not allow a passenger to remain in a child seat or carrier when not in immediate control of the bicycle.
  • Bicyclists and passengers under age 16 must wear a helmet approved by ANSI, Snell or any other standard recognized by Florida.
  • At least one hand must be kept on the handlebars while riding.
  • Parents and guardians must not knowingly allow a child or minor ward to violate any provisions of this section.
  • Every bicycle must be equipped with a brake or brakes which allow the rider to stop within 25 feet from a speed of 10 miles per hour on dry, level, clean pavement.

Sidewalk Riding (see Section 316,2065, F.S.)

  • When riding on sidewalks or in crosswalks, a bicyclist has the same rights and duties as a pedestrian.
  • A bicyclist riding on sidewalks or in crosswalks must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and must give an audible signal before passing.

Lighting (see Section 316.2065, F.S.)

  • 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. See the “Night Riding” section for safety tips.

Roadway Position (see Section 316.2065, F.S.)

  • A bicyclist who is not traveling at the same speed of other traffic must ride as close as practicable to the right hand curb or edge of roadway. A bicyclist may leave the right-most portion of the road in the following situations: when passing, making a left turn, to avoid hazards, or when a lane is too narrow for a bicycle and a car to share it safely.
  • A bicyclist operating on a one-way street with two or more traffic lanes may ride as close to the left hand edge of the roadway as practicable.
  • Riding single file is required except on bike paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles, or when two people riding side-by-side within one lane will not impede traffic flow.

Left Turns (see Subsections 316.155(1)(b)(c), F.S.)

  • A bicyclist intending to make a vehicle left turn is entitled to full use of the lane from which the turn is made. After scanning, signaling and moving to the center of that lane, the bicyclist must check the signal, then proceed when it is green and safe to do so.
  • In addition to the normal vehicle left turn, a bicyclist may proceed through the right-most portion of the intersection and turn as close to the curb or edge as possible at the far side. After complying with any official traffic control device, the bicyclist may proceed in the new direction of travel.
  • Another option available to a bicyclist is to dismount and walk through the intersection in the crosswalk like a pedestrian.

Signaling Turns (see Subsection 316.155(2) and 316.157(2), F.S.)

  • A signal or intention to turn must be given during the last 100 feet traveled by the vehicle before turning. If a bicyclist needs both hands for control, the signal need not be given continuously
  • A bicyclist may signal intent to turn right either by extending the left hand and arm upward or by extending the right hand and arm horizontally to the right side of the bicycle.

Headsets (see Section 316.304, F.S.)

  • A bicyclist must not wear a headset, headphone or other listening device other than a hearing aid when riding. Wearing a headset blocks out important audio cues needed to detect the presence of other traffic.

Civil Penalties (see Subsections 316.2065 and 318.18 F.S.)

  • Civil penalties may be issued for violations of bicycle laws as well as for moving and non-moving violations if applicable.

Local Ordinances

  • The local governments of counties, cities, towns and other municipalities can adopt ordinances regulating bicycle riding. Some towns may also have registration and licensing ordinances. Sidewalk riding may be prohibited entirely or only in certain areas such as business districts. Local law enforcement agencies can provide copies of local ordinances.