Post updated: 12/15/2020
Our law office cares about your safety just as much as we do your rights. That’s why, if you’re a bicycle rider, we believe it’s important that you be familiar with Florida’s bicycle laws. They’re designed specifically to keep you and others safe on the road. Additionally, because such laws change over time, there may be new developments you’re not aware of.
This brief overview will cover what you need to know about current Florida bicycle laws, as well as recent changes.
What Are Florida’s Bicycle Laws?
It would be impossible to cover all Florida bike laws. The following are just a few noteworthy laws bikers should be aware of:
- Bicyclists must, like operators of motor vehicles, obey all traffic controls and signals.
- At any given time, a bicycle can only carry up to the number of passengers for which it was designed. The only exception is when a rider has a small child firmly secured to their body.
- When a bicycle rider is traveling 10 mph on pavement that’s clean, dry, and relatively level, their brakes must be able to stop the bike within 25 feet of the spot where the brakes were applied.
- A passenger cannot remain in the child seat or carrier of a bicycle when the rider isn’t in complete control of the bicycle.
- When riding a bike on a roadway and not traveling the same speed as the majority of traffic (such as riding a bike on a road with car traffic), a bicyclist must use the designated bike lane. When there is no such lane, a bicyclist must, as much as reasonably possible, stay close to the right curb or edge of the road. There are only a few instances in which exceptions can be made, such as if a bicyclist must safely leave the bike lane or right side of the road to avoid colliding with a vehicle, pedestrian, or similar hazard, and they don’t have time to stop.
Many of those laws have been on the books for quite some time now. However, in recent years, certain updates have been made to Florida’s bike laws that you should be aware of.
For example, if you’re riding a bike in Florida between sunrise and sunset, your bike must be equipped with a front-facing white headlight. The light it emits must be visible up to 500 feet away.
The rear of the bike needs an adequate reflector, as well as a lamp shining red light that can be seen from a distance of 600 feet. Additionally, Florida bicyclists can (and are encouraged to) equip their bikes with additional lighting.
Installing lights on a bike to ensure you’re in full compliance with Florida’s latest bicycle laws may seem like a hassle. However, it’s important to remember that these laws exist for your safety.
It’s also important to remember that this is merely a general overview. It doesn’t cover every single Florida bicycle law. Depending on when you read it, it may be out of date if new laws get passed in the future. That’s why you might also want to routinely check Florida statute 316.2065 to find the most thorough and up-to-date information.on Aug 16, 2011