More on Stop Signs and Red lights

Question

Linda also asked:  Is this correct and does it fit within the Florida laws?

http://www.floridabicycle.org/rules/groups.html

“At a stop, bunch-up and take control of the lane. This allows the group to proceed through the intersection as rapidly as possible.”

Answer

The purpose of traffic laws is to facilitate safe and efficient traffic flow.  The statutes do not account for every eventuality.  All roadways are not constructed to meet the optimal needs of all users.

One provision that applies states that cyclists are NOT required to “keep right” when traveling at the same speed as, or faster than, other traffic.

s. 316.2065 – Bicycle Regulations

(5)(a)  Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic … shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway….

Clearly, when approaching a stop sign or light, traffic is slowing to stop and cyclists are traveling at the expected normal speed of traffic.  Keeping to the far right might encourage motorists to try to pass or right hook the group during the transition from the approach, the stop, and the exit from the intersection.  Very dangerous!

Some might argue the “no more than two abreast” rule, but under the circumstances it doesn’t seem to be of relative importance and is only academic, considering the benefits of the group proceeding through the intersection in a timely manner and the effect on other traffic..

Imagine a long line of cyclists in a single line waiting and taking turns to proceed through an intersection.  It could be very frustrating for motorists behind the group and for those in the other lanes.

Another situation that has similar implications is a group riding single file in a narrow lane on a two-way roadway.  If the group is large, it is very difficult for motorists to legally and safely overtake and pass.  You may have experienced an impatient or frustrated motorist misjudging the time to pass, and the unpleasant consequences.  There is no statutory maximum group size (At present anyway – Cyclists take heed!).  However, it would behoove us all to break into smaller groups to facilitate passing.

I believe the FBA article is trying to encourage cyclists to be polite and move through the intersection as quickly and efficiently as possible.  There doesn’t seem to be a contradiction to the laws.

Posted in Ask Geo, Stop Signs & Red Lights Tagged with:

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